Monday, April 21, 2014

Kino Venus, a Polish thriller with a Louise Brooks-like character

Kino Venus is the name of a Polish thriller set in 1930s Lublin which may feature a Louise Brooks and/or a Marlene Dietrich inspired character. The book's author is Marcin Wroński. I was alerted to Kino Venus after coming across a reference to the actresses on a French bookseller's webpage.

Has anyone read these books? I found three different covers while searching online. They sound intriguing.

Below is biographical information on the author from his website. And here is a the author's Wikipedia page in Polish.

Marcin Wroński (b. 1972, Lublin, Poland) studied Polish literature and language at the Catholic University of Lublin. Before devoting himself wholeheartedly to becoming a writer he worked as a columnist, a radio journalist, a secondary school teacher and an editor at various Polish publishing houses.

Wroński’s debut book appeared in 1992. Since then he has published six novels. He has also written many short stories and articles, cabaret sketches, essays and plays. In his work, Wroński combines literary tradition with elements from mass culture, whereby the complex Polish-Jewish-Russian-German history of his native city of Lublin often plays a role.

In Poland he is known mainly as the author of historic crime fiction featuring Police Commissioner Zygmunt Maciejewski as the main character. So far, he has published in the series Morderstwo pod cenzurą ("Murder Under Censorship", 2007), Kino Venus ("Cinema Venus", 2008), A na imię jej będzie Aniela ("And She Shall Be Called Aniela", 2011) and Skrzydlata trumna ("The Flying Coffin", 2012). Wroński also wrote a political thriller about contemporary Poland: Officium Secretum. Pies Pański ("Officium Secretum. Domini Cane", 2010). The 5th retro crime novel featuring Maciejewski is Pogrom w przyszły wtorek ("Pogrom on the Next Tuesday")

Morderstwo pod cenzurą, Kino Venus and Officium Secretum were nominated to the ‘Great Calibre Prize’ (the most prestigious prize for authors of crime fiction in Poland). The Russian rights for these books were sold to Gesharim/Bridges of Culture Publishing in Moscow. Studio Kalejdoskop, a Polish production company, has bought the film rights.

In 2009 Marcin Wroński was awarded the honorary title of Bene Meritus Terrae Lublinensi (Meritiorious for Lublin's Region) for the way in which he managed to conjure up the history of Lublin in his novels about 'Zyggie' Maciejewski. In 2012 he was awarded the Medal of the Mayor of Lublin.

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