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Polish famous writers
Stefan Chwin (1949) - writer and literary historian. Connected with the University of Gdańsk. He is the author of stories, studies and literary essays, including: stories for young people under the pseudonym Max Lars 'People - scorpions' (1984) and 'Man-litera' (1989). He won especially good reviews for his story 'Hanemann' (1996). His story 'Esther' came out in 1999. Poet, prose writer, essayist, winner of many prestigious literary awards, his work has been translated into many languages.

Gustaw Herling Grudziński (1919-2000) - prose writer, literary critic, essayist. Arrested in the war and sent to a camp in the Far North, he left Russia in Anders's Army and fought at Monte Cassino. In 1947 he co-founded and initially co-edited the magazine 'Kultura' then published in Rome. When the magazine moved he settled in London and in 1952 returned to Italy. Winner of many prizes: 'Kultura' (1958), 'Jurzykowski' (1964), 'Kościelskis'(1966), 'The News' (1981), the Italian Premio Viareggio prize, the international 'Prix Gutenberg' and French Pen-Club. In 1998 he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle.
In 1951 he released his recollections of his time in Soviet prison camps - 'Another World' - one of the first and best works devoted top the subject in world literature. The book brought him international acclaim. His many-volumed journal covering the period 1973- 1999 also enjoyed great success: 'Collected stories' (1990), 'Ringing the bell ringer's death knell' (2000), 'The shortest guidebook around oneself' (2000).

Julia Hartwig (born 1921) - poet, essayist, translator, author of books for kids. She studied at universities in Warsaw, Cracow (Jagielonian) and Paris. She is author of the reportage 'From journeys close to home' (1954), and several dozen collections of poetry. She has translated, amongst other things, works of Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Max Jacob, Cendrars and Supervielle, published a monograph of Apollinaire and Grarda de Nerval. She is also the author of translations from English, brought together in 1992 in a wide-ranging praise of the new man. An anthology of American poetry, prepared together with Artur Międzyrzecki, poet, then husband of Julia Hartwig. Author of collections of poetry, including: 'Farewell' (1956), 'A Free hand' (1969), 'Waking' (1978), 'Familiarity' (1987), 'Tenderness' (1992), 'Zobaczone' (1999), 'There's no answer' (2001). Books for kids co-authored with Artur Międzyrzecki also brought fame. Unforgettable were 'Jaś i Małgosia' ('Hansel and Gretel') (1961), 'Adventures of a Wild Strawberry' (1961), 'Tom Thumb' (1962).
She has been awarded countless prizes, including from the A. Jurzykowski Foundation, the Thornton Wilder Prize awarded by the Translation Center at Columbia University, the Austrian Georg Trakel poetry prize.

Zbigniew Herbert (1924-1998) - acclaimed poet, dramatist, essayist. By education a lawyer and economist. His first volume of poetry 'String of light' came out in 1956. Others include: 'Study of an object' (1961), 'Inscription' (1969), 'Mr. Cogito' (1974), 'Elegy for the Departure' (1990), 'Epilogue to a storm' (1998). He is well-known for his wonderful essays. The following collections have been translated into many languages: 'Barbarians in the garden' (1962) and 'Still life with a bridle' (1993). After his death the writer released a collection of his essays 'The labyrinth under the sea' (2000), 'King of the ants' (2001), 'The Gordian Knot and other dispersed works' (2001).

Paweł Huelle (born 1957) - poet, prose writer, journalist. He devoted with the story 'Little David Weiser' (1987), which won the Kościelski Foundation Prize. He is also the author of books such as: 'Stories to read while moving house' (1991) and 'First love and other short stories' (1996), 'Mercedes Benz' (2001), and also a volume 'Verses' (1994). His favourite subject is Gdańsk, as a city shaped by the influence of many cultures.

Ryszard Kapuściński (born 1932) - reporter, journalist, essayist. In 1962 he became the Polish Press Agency's correspondent in Africa, Latin America and Asia. He is fascinated by political conflict and war. He is the author of many collections of reportage, including: 'The Polish Bush' (1962) - reportage from his homeland; 'The Soccer War' (1978) - on changes taking place in Africa, where he travelled up to the end of the 1960s, to the Congo; 'The Emperor' (1978) - about the magnificence and the fall of Haile Sellassie in Ethopia; 'The Shah of Shahs' (1982) - about the court of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlava in Iran; 'Imperium' (1993) - after travelling around the crumbling Soviet empire in 1989-91; 'Heban' (1998) - a synthesis of works on Africa. His photographic album 'Out of Africa' came out in 2000. Winner of the 1996 Jan Parandowski Award for the best Polish writer. In 199 he was awarded the Ikara statuette. His work is translated all over the world.

Tadeusz Konwicki (born 1926) - prose writer, screen writer and film director. A graduate of Polish language studies. Author of many stories, for example: 'A hole in the sky' (1959), 'A dreambook for our time' (1963), 'The werewolf' (1969), 'Chronicle of amorous occurrences' (1974), 'Small apocalypse' (1979), 'The new world and surroundings' (1986), 'Northern lights' (1991). He has been successful also as a director, awarded prizes at film festivals in Venice, Brussels, Manncheim, Edinburg, San Remo. His films are: 'Last day of summer' (1958), 'Salto' (1965), 'Issa's Valley' (1982). In 1984 Andrzej Titkow made a documentary film, 'Passer-by', about Konwicki.

Jan Kott (1914 - 2001) - literary and theatre critic, literary historian and essayist. Just after the war he set up the Polish Academy for Literature Research. A professor at the universities of both Warsaw and Wrocław. In 1966\67 he lectured at Yale, and a year later at Berkeley. He has lived permanently in the US since 1968. He lectured at various American and Canadian colleges. His was made famous by his widely translated works 'An outline of Shakespeare' (1961), 'Eating the Gods. An outline of Greek tragedy' (1986). In 1991 his 'Selected Writings' were published in three volumes, including his most interesting essays, critiques and reviews, 'Kadish. A word about Tadeusz Kantor' (1997). In 2002 appeared 'Tales for my granddaughters'. Honorary Member of the Modern Language Association of America and member of the prestigious Phi Beta Association.

Stanisław Lem (born 1921) - writer and journalist, theoretician and science-fiction literary critic. Studied medicine at the Jagielonian University in Cracow. He made his debut in 1946 with the 'Man from Mars' and in 1951 released a sci-fi story titled 'Astronauts'. His work became critically acclaimed, for example: 'Dialogues' (1957) and 'Summa technologiae' (1964). Today his work is among the top rank of sci-fi work in the world, translated into many languages and many times awarded. His works include: 'Solaris' (1961), 'Robots' fairy tale' (1964), 'Cyberiada' (1965) 'Stories about Pirx the pilot" (1968), 'Local vision' (1982), 'Peace on earth' (1987).
He is the winner of many awards both in Poland and abroad (including the State Prize First Class in the field of culture and art; the Austrian state prize in the field of European culture; the Franz Kafka Austrian state prize in the field of literature), and distinctions (Order of the White Eagle), and honorary doctorates.

Sławomir Mrożek (1930) - dramatist, satirist, prose writer, drawer, collaborated with 'Przekroj', the Bim-Bom theatre in Gdańsk and the Piwnica pod Baranami theatre in Cracow. He has lived outside Poland since 1963 (in Italy, France and Mexico). He publicly protested against the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and against the imposition of martial law in Poland in December 1981. His most important works include: 'The Elephant' (1956), 'The party in Atomice' (1959), 'Moniza Clavier' (1967) and the dramas 'Death of a colonel' (1963), 'Tango' (1964), 'Emigrants' (1974), ), 'Hunchback' (1975), 'Love in Crimea' (1993), 'The Reverends', 'Beautiful view' (2000). His works are performed in many countries in the world. Mrożek is also the author of a collection of drawings 'Poland in Pictures' (1957) and 'Through the glasses of Sławomir Mrożek' (1968).

Jerzy Pilch (born 1952) - prose writer and journalist. A many years collaborator with the newspaper 'Tygodnik Powszechny' and weekly 'Polityka'. His latest story 'Under the Mighty Angel' won the Nike prize for the best novel in 2000. Other novels include: 'The Adulteress' Register' (1993), 'Monologue from the fox's lair' (1996), 'The irreversible loss of left-handedness' (1998).

Jan Józef Szczepański (born 1919) - prose writer, essayist, film critic, translator, reporter and screen writer. Connected with the newspaper 'Tygodnik Powszechny' (1947 - 1953 and after 1956). President of the Central Union of the Polish Writers Association (1980 - 1983), later president of the board of the Central Association of Polish Writers (1989 - 1990). His best known works are the novels: 'Polish spring' (1955), 'Ikar' (1966), 'The island' (1968), 'Captain' (1986), 'Open spaces' (2001); collections of short stories: 'Behind the mountain pass' (1967), 'Ultima Thule' (1987), 'Little anecdotes' (1990), reportage 'The Bay of White Bears' (1960), 'End of the western' (1971); sketches: 'Before the unknown tribunal' (1975), 'Term in office' (1986); essays: 'We're all searching' (1998).

Andrzej Szczypiorski (1924-2000) - prose writer, journalist, screen writer. He took part in the Warsaw Uprising in 1944, and was a prisoner in the Sachsenhausen camp. His professional career began as editor of the Warsaw daily 'Życie Warszawy', later as literary director at the Silesian Theatre (Teatr Śląski) in Katowice, in the period 1956 - 1958 an advisor to the Polish embassy in Denmark, and later editor of Polish Radio in Warsaw. He was for many years associated with the weekly 'Polityka and the monthly 'Odra'. In the period 1989 - 1991 he was a senator in parliament. After 1955, when his first collection of short stories came out. He has brought out more than 20 volumes of prose, including stories, reportage collections and features, sketches and essays, including 'Behind the wall of sodomy' (1963),
'Mass for the town of Arras' (1971), 'And they missed Emaus' (1974), 'From the martial law diary', London (1983). The story 'The beginning' (1986) became a great success not only in German-speaking countries; it was honoured with many awards (including the Austrian State Prize for European literature and the Nelly Sachs Award). After the success of 'The Beginning' more acclaimed works by the author appeared: 'Night, day and night' (1991), 'Self-portrait of a woman' (1994), and also a collection of short stories (including 'American whisky' - a collection that was awarded the German Catholics' Prize for Art and Culture), 'Playing with fire' (1999). He also writes for children and young people.


Olga Tokarczuk (born 1962) - story writer of the younger generation, a psychologist by training. Author of the stories: 'Travels of the book people' (1993), 'E.E.' (1995) and 'Time immemorial and other times' (1996) and a volume of short stories 'The wardrobe' (1997). Winner of the Kościelski Foundation Prize (1997). For her story 'Day house, night house' she was awarded the NIKE'99 prize. She also writes essays, for example, 'The doll and pearl' (2001).

Adam Zagajewski (born 1945) - Poet, prose writer, essayist, winner of many prestigious literary awards, his works are translated into many languages. In 1982 he emigrated to France, where, amongst other things, he co-edited 'Zeszyty Literackie' ('Literary Notebooks'). Since 1982 he has lectured at the University of Houston. He is the author of collections of verses: 'The Communique' (1972), 'The letter. Ode to great numbers' (1983), 'Linen' (1990) 'Desire' (1999), for which he was nominated for the Nike award. 'Second breath' (1978), 'Two towns' (1991), 'In someone else's beauty' (1998) including sketches and essays. In 2002 he returned to Cracow.
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