Liberaa
2002 Shortlist

Madame

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Madame is a novel, which sparkles with light and warmth, about Poland during the grim years of Soviet-controlled mediocrity.
The young narrator-hero is suffering through the regulated boredom of high school when his is transfixed by a new teacher, an elegant ‘older woman’ (she is thirty-two) who bewitches him with her glacial beauty and her strict intelligence. He resolves to learn everything he can about her and to win her heart.
He finds out much more than he expected, about politics, Poland, the Spanish Civil War and his own passion for theatre and art, all while his loved one continues to elude him. Yet without his realising it, his efforts, largely bookish and literary, to close in on Madame are his first steps to liberation as an artist. Later, during a stint as a teacher-in-training in his old school, he discovers that he himself has become a legendary figure to a new generation of students, and he begins to understand the deceits and blessings of myth, and its redemptive power.
A portrait of an artist as a young man, Madame is also a moving, engaging novel about strength and weakness, first love, and the efforts we make to reconcile, in art, the opposing forces of reason and

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Antoni
Libera

Antoni Libera was born in 1949. He graduated from Warsaw University and received his doctorate from the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has been occupied with Samuel Beckett’s works for many years, which he has translated into Polish and directed on stage.

Madame, Libera’s debut novel, was celebrated as a great literary event. It was on the bestseller lists, was nominated for the most important Polish literature prize, the Nike, and was awarded the prestigious Andrzej Kijowski prize. It was not long before interest in the book extended beyond Poland’s borders. It has already been published in the US, in Germany and in Hungary, and translations into other languages, including Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian and Greek, are in progress.
(From Culture.PL)

Antoni Libera was born in 1949. He graduated from Warsaw University and received his doctorate from the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has been occupied with Samuel Beckett’s works for many years, which he has translated into Polish and directed on stage.

Madame, Libera’s debut novel, was celebrated as a great literary event. It was on the bestseller lists, was nominated for the most important Polish literature prize, the Nike, and was awarded the prestigious Andrzej Kijowski prize. It was not long before interest in the book extended beyond Poland’s borders. It has already been published in the US, in Germany and in Hungary, and translations into other languages, including Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian and Greek, are in progress.
(From Culture.PL)

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Agnieszka
Kolakwska

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/04/2000
Country
Poland
Original Language
Polish
Author
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Translator
Agnieszka Kolakwska

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