'Freighted with memory, Watermarks is a treasure of lived experience' Katharine Norbury, author of The Fish Ladder
'An amazing piece of work' Kate Saunders, The Times
The fifth of eight children, her father a Polish immigrant bookseller, Lenka Janiurek first encounters tragedy with the death of her mother when she is just nine. This remarkable and rich memoir, from the 1960s to the present day, grapples with identity.
Involving five brothers, two stepmothers, early success as a playwright, disastrous relationships, motherhood, extensive travel, and brushes with both extreme wealth and poverty, Janiurek's story has been a search for a kind of freedom, partially provided by the comforting solace of swimming.
Haunted by the despair, rage and addiction of men she has known best, she nevertheless explores and celebrates the beauty and pain of living life to the full. Watermarks is a stunning evocation of alienation, and the beautiful and restorative power of the natural world.
Lenka Janiurek was born in York. After winning a competition at the age of seventeen, she had three plays on at the Royal Court Theatre, a platform play at the National Theatre, and one at the Other Place with the RSC in Stratford-on-Avon. She has facilitated workshops in writing, drama, art and well-being, in schools, colleges, at camps, and in a women's prison. And worked as a baker, fundraiser, caretaker, green builder and researcher. She now lives close to the sea in Wales.