Marcin Szczygielski [ Poland ]
Filipinki – to my!: Ilustrowana historia pierwszego polskiego girlsbandu, 2013
Flügel aus Papier, 2015
Hinter der blauen Tür, 2016
Marcin Szczygielski was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1972 and worked as a graphic artist for magazines such as »Voyage«, »Newsweek Polska«, »Nowa Fantastyka« and the Polish »Playboy«. Szczygielski drew on his experiences from six years as the artistic director on the editorial staff of the men’s magazine in his 2003 satirical novel »PL-BOY«, which, like the sequel »Wiosna PL-BOYa« (2004; tr: Spring of the PL-BOY) released a year later, became a bestseller. Even as a writer Szczygielski continues to work as a graphic artist, and is responsible for graphic design at the publishers Oficyna Wydawnicza AS and Instytut Wydawniczy Latarnik. He also designs most of his books.
In 2007 his novel »Berek« (tr: Label), about a dispute among neighbours between a young homosexual and an older, ultra-conservative, Catholic woman, caused an uproar in Poland. Two years later Szczygielski adapted this story for the stage, and continued writing successful plays for the theatre, including most recently »Kochanie na kredyt« (tr: Honey on Credit), which celebrated its premier in 2013 in London. Also released that year was »Filipinki – to my! Ilustrowana historia pierwszego polskiego girlsbandu« (tr: Filipinki – That’s Us! The Illustrated Story of the First Polish Girl Band), a monograph containing more than 500 photographs, 300 press articles, and unreleased songs from the band in which Szczygielski’s mother sang for 12 years. In addition to books for adults, such as his recent »Bingo« (2015), about a TV moderator whose wife discovers he has a male lover, Szczygielski’s writing also includes literature for children and young adults. His debut in this category, the science fiction novel »Omega« (2009), was named Book of the Year by the International Board on Books for Young People in 2010. To date his novels »Za niebieskimi drzwiami« (2010; tr: Behind the Blue Door) and »Arka Czasu« (2013; tr: Paper Wings) have been translated into German. Writing about the latter work, in which a Jewish youth flees from the gruesome reality of the Warsaw Ghetto into the world of books, the »Tages-Anzeiger« praised Szczygielski, saying he had succeeded masterfully in melding a story based on a real biography with a fantastic adventure. Deutschlandfunk radio called the book »a literary appeal for the power of love and fraternity«.
As done previously with an earlier work, the author also entered »Arka Czasu« anonymously in the competition for the 2013 Astrid Lindgren Prize, once again winning first prize in the category of books for children between the ages of ten and fourteen. In April 2015 the novel was selected as one of the seven best books for young readers by Deutschlandfunk radio.