"Marek Hlasko (1934-1969) was born in Warsaw, the only child of parents who divorced when he was three. He was kicked out of high school and worked a series of menial jobs. While a truck driver, he began to write articles for a local newspaper, and soon after joined the crusading magazine Po Prostu as the editor of the literary section. In 1956, his short story collection A First Step in the Clouds won him immediate acclaim. It was followed by The Eighth Day of the Week, and two other novels, The Graveyard and Next Stop Paradise. But when publishers refused to bring out his books, Hlasko traveled to Paris and published them in the emigre journal Kultura. It was a fateful decision- the Polish authorities gave him the choice of returning home and renouncing his work or staying abroad forever. He chose the latter, and spent the rest of his life in Western Europe, Israel, and the United States. He developed a reputation as a hard drinker and brawler, and was often in and out of prisons and psychiatric clinics. In 1966, Roman Polanski brought Hlasko to Hollywood to work as a screenwriter, but while there, he got into a fight wit
"A spokesman for those who were angry and beat, turbulent,
temperamental and tortured . . . In The Graveyard, Hlasko
stabs his knife into the regime and draws it out dripping
--The New York Times
"Hlasko's story comes off the page at you like a pit bull."
--The Washington Post "Marek Hlasko lived through what he wrote and died of an overdose of solitude and not enough love."
--Jerzy Kosinski "A self-taught writer with an uncanny gift for narrative and dialogue . . . A born rebel and troublemaker of immense charm."
--Roman Polanski "Hlasko writes with great talent . . . Fascinates the reader with his conciseness, directness, and drama."
--Saturday Review "As a study of a peculiar limbo, the endless wandering, the alienation, [The Eighth Day of the Week is] exquisitely drawn, and intensely young; it's about as good a description of being 18 as I've ever read, whether you're living under the yoke of communism or not."
--Zoe Williams, The Guardian, "The Book That Changed Me" "While urging you to find and read . . . any book by Marek Hlasko, I will yield to Hlasko's countryman, fellow writer, and friend Leopold Tyrmand, the final word: 'Even in his lies--and he was a man built of lies, some of them scurrilous, some of them charming--he conveyed always a truth. A truth we need.' "
--James Sallis, The Boston Globe