The Empire of Children

The Empire of Children – a dystopian novel about a world divided as a result of a vision of a loving mother. A novel written in a beautiful, poetic language by the Polish author and playwright, Marta Sokolowska.

In the Empire of Children wellbeing and happiness of the youth are the highest and most protected values, for good or worse. Within a class-divided society B-Maria – one of the very few determined to undertake an unequal fight the regime – struggles to obtain the desired child.

Should she change the world where children are well-fed, happy and protected, in sake of her own beliefs? Does concern for the weak and excluded justify violence and fanaticism? How far is the reach of everlasting regime?

In her dystopian novel Marta Sokolowska is asking questions particularly relevant for our times. The novel has received the UNESCO Cracow City of Literature Award and won „Debuts in Prose” prize organized by the Biuro Literackie Publishing House.

The Empire of Children. Dystopian novel by Marta Sokolowska
The Empire of Children by Marta Sokolowska
Publisher Biuro Literackie

Marta Sokolowska – Polish author, playwright, radio drama writer and film director. Winner of the Krakow UNESCO City of Literature Award, laureate of the Prose Debuts project organized by the publishing house Biuro Literackie and the Drama! organized by Dwutygodnik and IMKA Theater.

Two-time finalist of the competition of Polish Contemporary Dramaturgy The Metaphor of Reality, three-time scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, semi-finalist of the Gdynia Drama Award, author of the script and film director of a documentary film Zeno-San.

The author of texts translated into English, German, Georgian, Belarusian and Russian.


Review of the dystopian novel „Empire of Children” by Igor Kierkosz in „Dwutygodnik”

Prophets at the end of fantasy. Review by Igor Kierkosz in „Dwutygodnik”

„The dystopian novel „The Empire of Children” by Marta Sokołowska uses a concept that has fueled at least some exciting film plots in recent years – an underground space commenting on what is on the surface. In Jordan Peele’s To Us, it was an excuse to talk about the racist causes of economic inequality. In „Parasite” she was a metaphor for class society. In the last film by Charlie Kaufman, you entered the other side in search of your own subconscious. ” Review by Igor Kierkosz in Dwutygodnik.

Igor Kierkosz writes: “Sokołowska takes reality against the hair. It asks questions about the legitimacy of sacrifices for a safe existence, about the position of the child in society, and finally about the limits of freedom and protection of the state. The underground anti-Empire gives context to the games known from the surface. Somewhere on the border of these spaces resounds a discussion about the class, economic or stratification dimension of life in modern society. ” (…)

“For the same purpose, Sokołowska creates an original, balanced weapon for literature. It is disarmingly simple observation that every system is and will be boring; everyone will be disordered; everyone will be oppressive and at the same time giving a sense of security. And if it is worth fighting to limit its expansion, it is not for the defense of the mythically understood Freedom and Democracy or for the overthrow of the Dark Garden Dictatorship, but for the down-to-earth values ​​concerning each person – the consent to diversity and freedom of choice, to manifest one’s identity without the risk of judgment, to a life that does not flatter the prevailing rules at all costs, open to otherness and dialogue. „

Full article on Dwutygodnik.com


Interview with the writer Marta Sokołowska about life, writing and the book The Empire of Children. Interview by Małgorzata Żebrowska from „Totally Another Story”

“Extremes break us out of habits, move us towards bolder thinking. In borderline situations, we learn more about the world and about ourselves. We develop, we try ourselves in conditions of danger and discomfort, we struggle with weaknesses, we turn away from captivating and lulling pleasures. In „Empire of Children” I changed the world of total protection over the weakest into the world of protection of totalitarianism, „says Marta Sokołowska, the writer. Interview by Małgorzata Żebrowska in „Totally Another Story”

„Nowadays, the role of female artists is to knock the audience from all kinds of” bubbles „, we accept” truths „too easily, especially since the world is not one- or two-dimensional.”

“Power creates people who are enchanted with power, regardless of their gender, race, fitness or sexual orientation. Power strips people of most of their attributes and turns them into beings that simply possess power, who abuse or yield to it to varying degrees. „

“The desire to create a perfect world is impossible to achieve. As long as even one child in the world is hungry, this world is not good. We are not good people if one child is abused or dies by us adults. As long as one child freezes in the forest near the Polish-Belarusian border, we are not allowed to sleep peacefully. As long as one child is dying of thirst, we should not smile to drink our morning coffee. „

All talk available on Totally Another Story