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What I Received From God and From People:
A Story of Helena Modrzejewska

by Joanna Sokolowska-Gwizdka
translated by Bozena U. Zaremba and Ewa Chwojko-Srawley, with a foreword by Kazimierz Braun
BoRey Publishing, August 2009


One of the most famous actresses of her time, and inspiration for Susan Sontag’s last novel, In America, Helena Modjeska (Helena Modrzejewska, 1840-1909), enjoyed an unprecedented career in Poland before moving to the United States at age 36 to launch an equally remarkable career in this country. This book, which contains both the Polish original story and the English translation, presents Modjeska’s personal life and her professional triumphs and failures, as well as some difficult choices she had to face and tough decisions she had to make. It shows how the two sides of her life – the real and the stage life – interlaced. Even though the book is brief, it leaves a lasting impression of an exceptional person and an outstanding American actress-immigrant, a portrait of an artist in her epoch.


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