Tuesday 1 October 2019, 7:30 PM
Ognisko Polskie (Polish Hearth)
55 Princess Gate
London SW7 2PL
£ 5 General Admission / Free for Members
The first biography in English of the major interwar Polish writer Zofia Nałkowska.
Zofia Nałkowska – a highly acclaimed author whose life spans key events in Polish history. Born in Warsaw in 1884 under the repressive regime of Tsarist Russia, Zofia forged her fiction under censorship and then the Occupation of the First World War. First published when she was still in her teens, Zofia spoke out on behalf of women. Always contemporary, her early novels influenced fledgling writers and each new publication was eagerly looked forward to.
During the twenty years of independent Poland, her work became a sharp critique of the increasingly illiberal government. Zofia spent the Second World War in Warsaw. Unable to publish, she continued to support young writers, risking her life, while she and her sister also cared for their beloved mother through ever deepening dementia. Post-war, with Warsaw still in ruins, Zofia produced Medallions, a collection of short stories which expose unspeakable crimes and restore dignity to Polish and Jewish lives. As a lover of life and a keen and visionary observer of beauty, Nałkowska is innovative in exploring motherhood’s psychological imprint as well as the blurred boundaries of male and female relationships.
Drawing on her background both as a poet and Polish Studies graduate, Jenny Robertson’s literary biography celebrates the achievements of a pivotal female writer. Zofia Nałkowska’s life and writing reflects and informs Europe's cultural heritage. Ursula Phillips, who will chair the meeting, is an award winning translator of two of Nałkowska’s novels and has written widely on her work.