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Kazimierz Brandys was born in Lodz, and studied law at Warsaw University. The first of his novels – several of which have been translated – was published in 1946: one of them, Samson, was filmed by Andrej Wajda. He resigned from the Communist Party in 1966, and co-founded Zapis – an independent literary review – in 1978. He left Poland in 1981, and divides his time between Paris and New York: he has been blacklisted by the Polish authorities for the past five years, and is unable to publish his work in Poland.