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
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.
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.
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.