Bakalar’s Madame Mephisto and Procházková’s Freshta in Huffington Post

‘Finally, another publisher of merit is Stork Press who specialise in translating exceptional new writing from Central and Eastern Europe. They are celebrating their first year of publishing this month. I was impressed with the two titles I’ve read: A.M. Bakalar’s Madame Mephisto, a darkly-comic account of a Polish immigrant’s experiences in London and Petra Procházková’s assured debut, Freshta, a bitter-sweet hymn to Afghanistan told from an outsider’s perspective.’ Lucy Popescu, Huffington Post


A.M. Bakalar was born and raised in Poland. Madame Mephisto is her first novel and was among readers recommendations to the Guardian First Book Award 2012. She is the first Polish woman to publish a novel in English since Poland joined EU in 2004. A.M. Bakalar lives with her partner, a drum and bass musician, in London. She is currently at work on her second novel. Find out more about Madame Mephisto.


Petra Procházková is an award-winning Czech journalist, humanitarian worker and writer. In 1994, she founded the private news agency Epicentrum, dedicated to war reporting with fellow journalist Jaromír Štětina. They have covered events in Abkhazia, Afghanistan, Czechnya, East Timor, Georgia, Nagorny, Karabakh, Kashmir, Kurdistan, Ossetia, and Tadjikistan. On her return to the Czech Republic, Petra founded the humanitarian organization Berkat for the support of children and women in Chechnya and Afghanistan (where she has acted as a correspondent in recent years) and for refugees living in the Czech Republic. In 1997 she was awarded the Ferdinand Peroutka Prize, and in 2000 the President of the Czech Republic presented her with a Medal of Merit. In 2001, the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award was bestowed on her by Madeleine Albright. Freshta (Frišta, 2004), translated by Julia Sherwood, is Petra’s first novel translated into English. Find out more about Freshta.