Jakub Małecki [ Poland ]
Polish writer and translator Jakub Małecki was born in Koło in 1982. He studied economics in Poznań and then worked in a bank for several years. He started his literary career in 2007, when his first short story »Dłonie« (tr: Hands), appeared in the magazine »Science Fiction, Fantasy i Horror«. He published other short pieces in »Nowa Fantastyka«, »Magazyn Fantastyczny«, »Lśnień«, »Przekrój«, »Piśmie«, and others, as well as in anthologies and short story collections. The first anthology of five stories and a short novel was published in 2008 under the title »Błędy« (tr: Mistakes). The horror novel tells a story about the appearance of a mysterious old man in Poznań and a series of mysterious deaths that occur in succession. The author’s second novel »Przemytnik cudu« (tr: Smuggler of Miracles) was published in the same year. The novel was also written in the horror as well as fantasy genre and set on the streets of Poznań. Between 2009-2013, he wrote three more novels and short prose. During this period, Małecki gave up his banking job to devote himself exclusively to literary work. In 2011, the novel »Dżozef« (tr: Joseph) was published, which is written in a fantasy style and has references to the works of Joseph Conrad. For this novel, Małecki was nominated for the Janusz Zajdel Prize. Małecki’s acclaimed novel »Dygot« (tr. Tremble) was published in 2015 and was nominated for the Angelus Central European Book Prize and a year later received the Jerzy-Żuławski Prize (Golden Award).
In the following years, Małecki turned to writing realistic literature. The novel »Ślady« (tr. Traces) was published in 2016 and was nominated for the prestigious literary prize Nike. The novel »Rdza« (2017; tr: Rust) tells the story of a Polish family that experiences a terrible fate over generations: starting with grandmother Tosia, who witnesses the Wehrmacht invade Poland at the outbreak of the war, and ending with her seven-year-old grandson Szymek, whose parents die in a car accident in 2002. The family’s life is marked by death and doom – forced resettlement, pogroms, and suicides, at no point do they see a way out of the situation. The backdrop to these horrors is the small town of Chojny. The oppressive story is presented dynamically – in short core sentences, much of the story is told only suggestively and even erratically. Jakub Małecki weaves the narrative material into a fugue with the existential themes of war, love, and betrayal.
In 2019, Małecki published the novels »Historie podniebne« (tr: Heavenly Stories) and »Horyzont« (tr: Horizon). Most recently, he published the novel »Święto ognia« (2021; tr: Fire Festival), an intimate story about crossing borders and the price that must be paid.
In addition to his writing, he also translates literary works from English into Polish, including a series of fantasy pieces. The author lives in Warsaw.