Joanna Chmielewska (her pen name) was born in 1932 in Warsaw. She was a writer and screenplay author, although an architect by education. She published her first novel in 1964. Her works have been translated into Russian, Czech, Slovakian, and Swedish. She died in Warsaw on October 7th 2013.
A writer and screenplay author, although an architect by education.
The author of Lesio traveled often and with pleasure all over the world, although she never flied out of principle. She loved horses and was a passionate gambler, who indulged her habit in casinos throughout Europe. She was an expert on amber, which with she loved to adorn herself. Chmielewska was admired for her unusual personality. In Poland she was one of those people to whom press, radio and television pay particular attention. Her fans have devoted an internet site to her: http://www.chmielewska.art.pl.
Chmielewska mostly wrote whodunits, although this statement does not do justice to the specific character of her work. In Russia her works are aptly described as 'ironic whodunits'. The criminal case is always an important and indispensable component of her books, but only the basis upon which the plot, which is set within a precisely described reality, is built; above all of this towers humor. The author did not avoid the grotesque. The narrator is often - and formerly only - a heroine called Joanna, an architect and writer, who clearly shares some of the author's characteristics. The humor in Chmielewska's novels derives from the unusual situations which the absent-minded Joanna and her friends, particularly her friend Alicja, who lives in Denmark, stumble into.
Readers and critics both agree that Całe zdanie nieboszczyka (The Corpse's Complete Sentence) and Wszystko czerwone (Everything In Red) can be reckoned as her best works. Their heroine, Joanna, an architect who is employed in a design studio, coincidentally becomes involved in a criminal intrigue of international proportions. Joanna succeeds in clearing up several murder cases and thefts through her unconventional methods of private investigation. Her typically 'feminine' reasoning allows the seemingly absent-minded Joanna to act unconventionally, to have surprising bouts of ingenuity, and most importantly - to succeed in solving the case.
Chmielewska has been writing books for 30 years, and all of them have been bestsellers. Her enormous popularity has not altered. It is said that she earns more than any other Polish woman writer ... Her books have saved two publishers and one printer from bankruptcy. (Ewa Japal)
Joanna Chmielewska is without doubt the most popular present-day Polish authoress, with 42 volumes of prose, mainly for adults but also for children, to her name. Every time she brought out a new book, it almost automatically climbed to one of the top places on the Polish bestseller list, and stays there for a long time. The print run of her books has passed the five million mark; in Russia, where she is the most-read foreign writer, the figure is eight million.
All of her novels have run into several editions, and some have been adapted for film and television.
Source: www.polska2000.pl; copyright: Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza.