"Offering a fast-paced medical mystery over a foundation that explores the implications of change and the power of the past, Hela is an enjoyable read, rich with glimpses of Poland and a compelling central heroine."
Alena Aniskiewicz, The Cosmopolitan Review, November 2016
Anna has a Masters degree in Theatre Studies from the Warsaw Theatre Academy. She also studied acting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She is a classically trained singer and a visual artist connected to Hunters Point Shipyard art community.
In "Hela" - a medical thriller - she explores, in a humorous way, the tensions between male and female, young and old, rich and poor, science and faith. The story is set in Poland in the early 2000s. The narrator is a woman who, as many people born and raised under Communism, finds it hard to cope with the challenges of market economy. Seeking health care she gets trapped in a genetic research program which will transform her in unimaginable ways.
Anna divides her time between San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and daughter, and Poland where she spends her summers.
She loves cinema, long walks on the beach, good conversation and exploring uncharted territory.
"Life has taught me to always expect the worst. Because the worst is always there, just around the corner, behind a tree, past the next digit on the clock dial. At that moment I did not have a watch to make note of the exact hour that my latest misery struck. I decided to face it with my head held high, like a soldier. Had I not been warned by that omen of the broken mirror? Things were coming to a head now and when your time has come it is useless to resist. I sat motionless, like a pillar of salt in my military duds, dark glasses, and a cap, awaiting my fate with full self-possession. Whether this new disaster was a result of my mistakes or of unforeseen circumstances or of my friends’ betrayal didn’t matter to me. There was nothing I could do. I started saying the the rosary."
"It was a relief to experience some agreement. It turned out we were in the same boat, both unemployed, with no prospects for the future… I felt reassured."
"You want a Garden of Eden? Stop looking for it in the past. You will not find it. Paradise is something still to be created."