Literary Presentations of Polish Immigrants in England: Where the Devil Can’t Go by Anya Lipska and Madame Mephisto by A.M. Bakalar

  • Barbara Poważa-KurkoEmail author
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


The paper examines the identity of two Polish immigrants living in London: Janusz Kiszka and Magda Rodziewicz. The former is the protagonist of Anya Lipska’s novel Where the Devil Can’t Go (2013), the latter is the narrator and heroine, or rather villain, of Madame Mephisto (2012) written by A.M. Bakalar. Whereas Anya Lipska only has a Polish connection as she is married to a Pole, A.M. Bakalar is Polish herself. Moreover, she is the first Polish author to have written a novel in English after Poland joined the European Union. Both wrote novels whose protagonists struggle to find their feet in the new, self-imposed cultural context as well as to relate to their roots. The present paper analyses the following aspects of the protagonists identity: their attitude to language, family, religion, work and politics, as well as the status of the immigrant/emigrant in order to ascertain which facets of their personality and lives are crucial for their Polish identity. Furthermore, the authorial treatments of the above-mentioned components of the protagonist’s identity in both novels are analysed and compared. The use of Polish in the narrative and the dialogue is also discussed. Some tentative questions are asked concerning the possible authorial agenda that might be hidden in the way Poland is presented in each novel.


Immigrant Polish Bakalar Lipska 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Witold Pilecki State School of Higher EducationOświęcimPoland

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