Małgorzata Saramonowicz

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  • fot. Ela Lempp

(born 1964) is a novelist and journalist. She made her debut in 1989 with a novel co-authored by Andrzej Saramonowicz entitled Akropoliada, but gained public attention seven years later when her novel Sister was published and was soon acclaimed as the literary event of autumn 1996. A psychological thriller, the book aroused a lively debate, and not just among literary critics, because it came out at the very moment when public debate on the introduction of an anti-abortion law in Poland was at its height. The plot is as follows: a young woman finds out she is pregnant and immediately falls into a coma. The doctors are unable to tell why. The only person to make any headway into solving the mystery is the heroine’s distraught husband, who discovers that in her childhood her brother forced her to perform acts of incest, to which their mother turned a blind eye. The doctors suggest that the only failsafe way to rescue her from her life-threatening coma is to perform an abortion, but her husband refuses to give his consent. Writing about a pivotal, widely debated issue is a typical feature of Saramonowicz’s work. She also used the same technique in her second novel, Mirrors (1999). This time her topic was the euthanasia debate and the many discussions that were and are still being conducted in the media about the tragic loss of youth and beauty, whose victims are mainly mature women. The heroines of Mirrors are women finding out what it means to be old; in fear of death, an old woman murders her young carer. The mirrors of the title are to blame, as they dispassionately announce each new wrinkle and each new white hair… As Jan Gondowicz wrote about the book, “The mirror is the silent guardian of our sense of self, the witness to our truth and our fakery. Lies told in front of the mirror are the hardest lies of all. Writing about mirrors means fathoming the secret of identity. ‘Is that really me?’ asks the old woman as she stares into the mirror…”.

"If Edgar Allan Poe had had a daughter, and if that daughter had had a daughter, and that daughter in her turn had had a daughter, it would have been easy to understand where Malgorzata Saramonowicz has come from."
Gazeta Wyborcza

Bibliography

  • Siostra, Warszawa: W.A.B., 1996; 1999.
  • Lustra, Warszawa: W.A.B., 1999.
  • Sanatorium, Warszawa: W.A.B., 2005.
  • Xięgi Nefasa, Kraków: Znak, 2016.

Translations:

Dutch

  • Zus [Siostra], trans. Karol Lesman, Breda: De Geus, 1999

German:

  • Die Schwester [Siostra], Hamburg: Rotbuch-Verl., 2000.
  • Spiegel [Lustra], Hamburg: Rotbuch-Verl., 2002.

Lithuanian:

  • Sese [Siostra], Wilno: Alma Littera, 2000.