congress / people

Jacek Dukaj

Date and place of birth: 1974, Tarnów, Poland

Living place: Tarnów, Poland

Theme: literature

ECC Participation: publication

Author of highly acclaimed science fiction and fantasy novels. Dukaj often crosses the barriers of literary genre, creating stories where anthropologic and social concepts are seamlessly weaved with philosophy and theoretical physics.

"Google has raped our brains."

Dukaj studied philosophy at the Jagiellonian University. He was first published by “Fantastyka.” Dukaj wrote over twenty short stories and ten novels. Many of his works deal with alternative history. In his debut novel “Xawras Wyżryn,” published in 1997, the divergence point was the outcome of Polish-Soviet War in 1920. In “Other Songs,” published in 2003, Dukaj portrayed a world where the laws of physics are very different from ours, and are based on ancient philosophical concepts (some reviewers claimed the book spawned a new genre, called “philosophy fiction”). In “Ice” (2007), his opus magnum (the book has over a 1000 pages and takes place in tsarist Russia), Dukaj creates a novel of breathtaking breadth, worthy of 19th century prose writers, effortlessly weaving together historical theories, political, cultural, and religious themes, manipulates historical facts and rules of logic. His latest novel, “Wroniec,” published in 2009, is a tale about the martial law period in Poland (1981-1983).

His works garnered much critical and reader acclaim, and have inspired artists working in a wide spectrum of media. In 2003, Tomasz Bagiński created “The Cathedral,” a short animated movie based on one Dukaj’s short story of the same name. “Wroniec” became the basis for an educational board game and a stage play. Dukaj has received mutiple Janusz A. Zajdel Awards, as well as the Kościelski Award, and the European Union Prize for Literature.