This comic novel is based on Karola’s Polish background and is about British Pole Magda who goes to Poland to explore her Polish roots. The character of Magda is based on Karola although not every that happens in the novel is true!
Karola was keen to convey what happened to her now late Polish parents in World War II.
Her dad was a displaced person in Germany during the war, her mum was in eastern Poland, which today is part of Belarus.
During the War, Karola’s mum was deported by Stalin to Siberia for six years – she was aged just six and tragically she lost her mother and sister out there to TB.
‘Are My Roots Showing?’ is a blend of light and shade. Karola blends comedy and tragedy, weaving strands of Poland’s tragic past with Magda’s attempts to ‘become more Polish’ and perhaps find love in the arms of a Pole.
The book is based on a Arts Council-funded show that Karola wrote and performed called ‘My Polish Roots and Other Vegetables’. The show was on at the Tristan Bates Theatre within the Actors’ Centre in London, at the Gilded Balloon in Edinburgh and at the Arts Theatre near Leicester Square.
The novel was launched at Stanford’s Bookshop in Long Acre, Covent Garden in 2016 thanks to Karola’s agent, Geraldine Cook. Karola has spoken about her novel at the Essex Book Festival and various libraries. If you’d like Karola to speak at an author event or festival please contact her via @karolagajda or via @cookmaccooke
Available in paperback and as eBook from Amazon.
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- “I adored this book from the first page, was sad when it ended and it was an absolute page turner in between. As someone with Polish roots myself I understood all the references made, including the nightmare of Polish grammar! However, you don’t need to be of Polish heritage to enjoy this story. If you have a love for connecting with family then this is for you. In fact, it’s made me want to go to Warsaw and spend time there rather than just pass through en route to elsewhere in Poland as I normally would. Karola is a Polish Marian Keyes – a great humour writer and I truly enjoyed this book.”
- “This is a beautiful book, sometimes really funny and sometimes heart-breaking. The chief character, Magda, is really lovable. This book gives an account of Stalinist deportations of Polish people, which may not be familiar to many outside Poland, and provides fascinating insights into the changes which have happened in Poland since the fall of communism. All this is done with a refreshingly personal touch. I would thoroughly recommend ‘Are My Roots Showing?'”
- “Every chapter makes me laugh. I like the way the author presents nuances of Polish life through Magda’s eyes. The story itself is funny, characters are funny and reading the book is light and flowing really well. Highly recommended.”