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Tecia Werbowski

Biography

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Tecia Werbowski was born in Lwov, Poland and survived the war as a hidden child near Cracow.  After the war her mother (who assumed the position of a cultural attaché in the Polish Embassy) took her to Prague where she spent her childhood.  These formative years made a lasting impression on her, as she was allowed to play in the embassy’s garden which she found almost magical.  She later describes it in her book “Prague Memories”. 

 

She returned to Warsaw in 1950, graduated from high school.  In 1957 she returned to her beloved city as a student of Filosoficka Fakulta of the Charles University.  She graduated in 1962.  There she mingled with “bohemians” of Prague, students like Vera Chytilova, musicians etc.  From 1962 until 1968 she was teaching English to the students of the Institute of Economics and Statistics in Warsaw.

In 1968 she came to Canada.  She landed in Montreal, studied social work at McGill University and graduated with master’s degree in 1971.  She worked as a social worker in the government agency until 1991.  Later she was involved in international adoption and became a volunteer of CESO, travelling in Asia and Africa helping the poor.  She found more time to devote herself to her favourite activity: writing, her second career.  Her first attempts were rewarded.  She received various prizes for her short fiction (a story:“ Prague revisited”, “Knots” etc.)  Since then she wrote tirelessly about Prague of her childhood and her youth depicting the political climate and general atmosphere of that era. 

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Her most prominent work was “Le mur entre nous, published in 1994 by a prestigious publishing house in France, Actes Sud.  “Le mur” takes place in Prague as well. This work became a bestseller, was made into BBC play, and translated into Czech and Italian.  It was adapted by Pavel Kohout and performed in Kolowrat Theatre by two outstanding actresses Mme C. Chramostovà and Burianovà.  The play travelled to Vienna, Slovakia and several Czech cities.  The Polish theatre television presented it in May 2005.

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In 2000, the publishing house in Prague GG Published her three novellas:  “Prospany Zivot” was adapted by Tecia and Goldflam into a play for Mrs. Skorepova and presented again in Kolowrat theatre. 

Tecia has written 12 books and six of them deal with political and moral dilemmas of the Czech reality before 1989 but also new challenges for the Czech citizens in the context of the new democratic order after 1989.  The latter she describes in “Ich bin Prager” (dedicated to Milan Kundera) and “Prague Memories”.  “Ich bin Prager” was chosen by FNAC in Paris as a favourite fiction of 2003 autumn literary season.

Tecia’s work was published by Actes Sud in France, Les Allusifs in Montreal and Guernica in Toronto .  Her works appeared in French and English, all of them critically acclaimed and applauded by critics and readers.  Thanks to Tecia they were exposed to this small but fascinating and culturally alive country.  Tecia is like a violinist who is playing the variations on the same theme: mystery and magic of Prague Sylvie Germain admires her style and shares her attachment to this city.  The critics and her reading audience believe that Tecia is the best Polish Canadian ambassador of the Czech culture abroad. 

 

List of Published Books by Tecia Werbowski:
 

Bittersweet Taste of Maple

Zina and Other Stories

Zegota – The Rescue of Jews in Wartime Poland

Le mur entre nous

L’Oblomova

Hôtel Polski

Prague hier et toujours

Amour anonyme

Prague Memories

Minou à Prague

Ich bin Prager

Loveless Duet.

 

More Information about Tecia Werbowski's published books.