«Her generation is one of harrowing stories», said Roberto Saviano, and Helena Janeczek has given a voice and a body of words to those stories, because «literature does not resurrect the dead. However, it speaks about them». A poet and writer, she was born in Munich into a Hewish-Polish family, and she has lived and worked between Milan and Gallarate for over thirty years. She is the editor of "Nuovi argomenti" and "Nazione Indiana", and she made her debut with the German language poetry collection "Ins Freie" (Suhrkamp, 1989). She wrote her first novel in Italian, "Lezioni di tenebra" (1997), and it won the Premio Bagutta for best debut novel. It is the account of the journey to Auschwitz by the author, together with her mother, who had been a prisoner there with her husband. Equally important is her second novel, "Le rondini di Montecassino" (2010), an epic portrait of the battle between the Nazis and Allies which destroyed the great Benedictine abbey, winner of the Premio Pisa fiction category and the Premio Sandro Onofri. In 2017, she took part in the collective volume "L'agenda ritrovata. Sette racconti per Paolo Borsellino" and released "La ragazza con la Leica", a fictional biography of the famous photojournalist Gerda Taro, the first female photographer to die on a battlefield.
(photo: © Leonardo Cendamo)