Jacek Hugo-Bader

Jacek Hugo-Bader

Journalist and reporter who has travelled through Russia and the former Soviet republics. He began his career of reporter by accident when, during the martial law in Poland, he had been dismissed from the post of history teacher for his opinions. He finally applied to the daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza: he wrote a text and the next day he was to report to the editorial office. According to Mariusz Szczygieł, “the perspective of a straying dog” adopted by Hugo-Bader (contrary to a bird’s-eye view of the empire advocated by Kapuściński), allows to better capture the mechanisms of thinking and of transformations in post-communist Russia. When he travelled to Russia for the first time, he had been certain that the Russians were worse than the Poles, but after having known the people there, he jokes that he must have been a Russian in his former life. He won the Grand Press award twice and the Arkady Fiedler “Amber Butterfly” Award (for the book Biała gorączka [English edition: White Fever. A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia] published in 2009, nominated also for the Gdynia Literary Prize). His other books are: W rajskiej dolinie wśród zielska (Among the Weeds In the Vale of Paradise) and Dzienniki kołymskie (The Kolyma Journals). His latest work is Długi film o miłości. Powrót na Broad Peak (A Long Film About Love. A Comeback to Broad Peak). Commenting on White Fever, Mariusz Wilk has written: “The post-Soviet world depicted by Hugo-Bader is a reality in delirium tremens... Tourists do not venture into such regions, tourist offices do not recommend such areas either”.

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