Famous Polish Novelists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Polish Novelists

 1 
Joseph Conrad
(Known for Short Stories and Novels Like Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness and the Secret Agent)

Joseph Conrad
4
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berdychiv, Ukraine
Died: August 3, 1924

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer. Considered one of the greatest English-language novelists of all time, Conrad is credited with bringing a non-English sensibility into English-language literature. Many of his works have inspired several films, TV series, and video games. His anti-heroic characters and narrative style have influenced many authors like Salman Rushdie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T. S. Eliot.

 2 
Andrzej Sapkowski
(He is best known for his book series The Witcher)

Andrzej Sapkowski
4
Birthdate: June 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland

Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski is best known for his widely translated iconic book series The Witcher, which has also been made into a Netflix series. While he initially studied economics and worked as a sales representative, he soared to fame with the short story Wiedźmin, which later became The Witcher.

 3 
Olga Tokarczuk
(Polish Writer Best Known for Her Novel 'Flights' and Winner of 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature)

Olga Tokarczuk
3
Birthdate: January 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sulechów, Poland

Olga Tokarczuk is a Polish writer and public intellectual. She is one of the most critically acclaimed authors of her generation in Poland. She was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first female Polish writer to receive the honor. Her works have been translated into almost 40 languages. She is also a clinical psychologist. 

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 4 
Andrzej Zulawski
(Polish filmmaker)

Andrzej Zulawski
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lwów, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic USSR
Died: February 17, 2016

Known as a rebellious director, Polish filmmaker Andrzej Zulawski compromised on mainstream success to create a niche audience in the European art-house circle. His second film, Diabel, which depicted rape, violence, and bloodshed, was banned in Poland. He later moved to France, making films such as L’Important C’est d’Aimer.

Isaac Bashevis Singer
3
Birthdate: November 21, 1902
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Leoncin, Congress Poland
Died: July 24, 1991

Nobel Prize-winning Polish-American author Isaac Bashevis Singer is best remembered for his short stories and novels that mirrored Jewish life with a tinge of irony. Born into a family of rabbis, he got a traditional education and later became a journalist. His works include the iconic novel The Family Moskat.

 6 
Henryk Sienkiewicz
(Journalist)

Henryk Sienkiewicz
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1846
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wola Okrzejska, Poland
Died: November 15, 1916

Henryk Sienkiewicz was a Polish journalist and novelist best remembered for his historical novels. He was the author of the internationally known best-seller Quo Vadis. Beginning his career as a journalist, he soon became one of the most popular Polish authors of his era. He was awarded the 1905 Nobel Prize in Literature for his contribution to literature. 

 7 
Bruno Schulz
(Writer and One of the Great Polish-Language Prose Stylists of the 20th Century)

Bruno Schulz
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Drohobych, Ukraine
Died: November 19, 1942

One of the best Polish authors of the 20th century, Bruno Schulz is remembered for his iconic works such as The Cinnamon Shops, a collection of short stories that had a Kafkaesque style. He was shot dead by a Nazi officer while returning home with a loaf of bread.

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 8 
Jerzy Kosiński
(Novelist)

Jerzy Kosiński
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland
Died: May 3, 1991

Jerzy Kosiński was a Polish American novelist who served as the president of the American Chapter of P.E.N. twice. Born in Poland, he survived World War II and moved to USA. He initially survived by taking up odd jobs and eventually worked his way to fame and success. Throughout his career, he faced accusations of plagiarism. 

 9 

Witold Gombrowicz
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Małoszyce, Poland
Died: July 24, 1969
Witold Gombrowicz was a Polish playwright and writer whose works are characterized by a certain sense of absurd, anti-nationalist flavor. Although his work was acclaimed only during the last few years of his life, Witold Gombrowicz is now widely regarded as one of the most important figures of Polish literature.  His works earned him a Nobel Prize nomination in 1966.

 10 
Sholem Asch
(Novelist, Playwright and One of the Most Widely Known Writers in Modern Yiddish Literature)

Sholem Asch
2
Birthdate: November 1, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kutno, Poland
Died: July 10, 1957

Born to a poor but generous innkeeper, Sholem Asch grew up to be one of the best-known Yiddish authors in the world. The Polish-born American writer, known for novels such as Uncle Moses and Chaim Lederer’s Return, also penned the play The God of Vengeance, which was banned everywhere except in Germany.

 11 
Bolesław Prus
(Journalist)

Bolesław Prus
2
Birthdate: August 20, 1847
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hrubieszow, Poland
Died: May 19, 1912

Orphaned at age 9, Bolesław Prus had a tough childhood. He later participated in the January Insurrection and then became a successful journalist. A talented author of short stories, such as The Waistcoat, and novels, such as The Doll, he was part of the Polish positivist literary movement.

Władysław Stanisław Reymont
2
Birthdate: May 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kobiele Wielkie, Poland
Died: December 5, 1925

Though trained as a tailor, Władysław Stanisław Reymont never worked as one and joined a traveling theater instead. He later devoted himself to writing and gained fame with novels such as The Promised Land and Revolt. His 4-volume novel The Peasants won him the Nobel Prize and was also filmed.

 13 
Remigiusz Mroz
(Writer, Lawyer)

Remigiusz Mroz
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Opole, Poland

Known for his bestselling legal thriller books, such as the Joanna Chyłka series, Polish author Remigiusz Mroz has sold millions of copies. A PhD in law, he quit his legal career to devote himself to writing. Often compared to the works of Stephen King, his books have also been adapted for TV.

 14 
Roma Ligocka
(Costume designer)

Roma Ligocka
2
Birthdate: November 13, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland

Polish writer and painter Roma Ligocka, who fled from the Kraków Ghetto during German occupation of Poland in Second World War, is best known for her works as a successful set designer in theatre, film and television, and for her memoir The Girl in the Red Coat. Other novels of Ligocka include Znajoma z lustre and Kobieta w podróży.

 15 
Gustav Freytag
(Novelist)

Gustav Freytag
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1816
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kluczbork, Poland
Died: April 30, 1895

Gustav Freytag was a German playwright and novelist best remembered for his 1852 comedy The Journalists which is regarded as one of the 19th century's best German comedies. It is still counted among the most successful German comedies of all time. A respected playwright, Freytag is credited with developing a dramatic structure called Freytag's pyramid which is widely used today.

 16 
Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski
(Known for his books about Lenin and the Russian Civil War in which he participated)

Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski
2
Birthdate: May 27, 1878
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ludza, Latvia
Died: January 3, 1945

Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski was a Polish writer, anticommunist political activist, university professor, and explorer. He is remembered for his participation in the Russian Civil War and the books that he wrote about the war and Lenin. Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski also contributed immensely to the underground education and postwar learning programs in Poland. 

 17 
Marek Hłasko
(Writer, Screenwriter)

Marek Hłasko
2
Birthdate: January 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: June 14, 1969

Marek Hłasko was a Polish screenwriter and author. Many of his writings like Ósmy dzień tygodnia, Baza ludzi umarłych, and Wszyscy byli odwróceni were adapted into films. Renowned for being eccentric, Marek Hłasko gained popularity among his peers and came to be known as a symbol of non-conformism. He died at the age of 35 under mysterious circumstances.

 18 

Stefan Żeromski
2
Birthdate: October 14, 1864
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Strawczyn, Poland
Died: November 20, 1925

Stefan Żeromski was a dramatist and novelist who received four nominations for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature during his illustrious career. He was a leading Polish neoromantic writer and many of his novels like Dzieje grzechu and Przedwiośnie were adapted into films. Stefan Żeromski's works have also been translated into many languages including Croatian.

 19 

Hans Hellmut Kirst
2
Birthdate: December 5, 1914
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ostroda, Poland
Died: February 23, 1989

Initially part of the German army, Hans Hellmut Kirst was moved by his experiences during World War II and began writing soon after. He was known for his political thrillers and satires, rooted in anti-Nazi sentiments, such as the award-winning work The Night of the Generals, which was also made into a film.

 20 
Arnold Zweig
(Writer)

Arnold Zweig
1
Birthdate: November 10, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Głogów, Poland
Died: November 26, 1968

Arnold Zweig was a German writer and socialist best known for his six-part cycle on World War I. He was well-educated as a young man and was influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy. He fought in World War I and became an active socialistic Zionist after the war. He wrote many anti-war novels, many of which were later made into films. 

 21 

Stanisław Przybyszewski
1
Birthdate: May 7, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Łojewo, Poland
Died: November 23, 1927

Stanisław Przybyszewski was a Polish novelist, poet, and dramatist. He wrote several successful novels including Homo Sapiens which was translated into English. Stanisław Przybyszewski is also remembered for his work as the editor in chief of an illustrated weekly called Życie. He helped revitalize the publication, which was soon turned into a bi-weekly. 

 22 

Aleksander Fredro
1
Birthdate: June 20, 1793
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Surochów, Poland
Died: July 15, 1876

Aleksander Fredro was a Polish poet, author, and playwright. Although his works were harshly criticized by his contemporaries, Fredro's works, especially his plays, were published extensively and popularized after his death. Many of his works have been translated into several languages including English, German, French, Russian, Hungarian, and Czech.

 23 

Jerzy Andrzejewski
1
Birthdate: August 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: April 19, 1983

Known for his hard-hitting novels such as Ashes and Diamonds, Polish author Jerzy Andrzejewski wrote about Polish life in a post-war world. Initially part of the Communist Party, he later became one of its critics and formed the Workers’ Defense Committee, which led to the anti-communist Solidarity movement.

 24 

Israel Joshua Singer
1
Birthdate: November 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bilgoraj, Poland
Died: February 10, 1944

The son of a rabbi and the brother of Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer, Israel Joshua Singer was a great Yiddish author in his own right. One of the Kiev Writers, he wrote for The Forward and is best remembered for his novel The Brothers Ashkenazi.

 25 

Nahum Sokolow
1
Birthdate: January 10, 1859
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wyszogrod, Poland
Died: May 17, 1936

Nahum Sokolow was a Zionist leader, writer, and translator. He is credited with coining the name Tel Aviv, which he used as a Hebrew title while translating Theodor Herzl's novel Altneuland. In 1909, the first modern Hebrew-speaking city was named Tel Aviv after Nahum Sokolow's translation.

Józef Ignacy Kraszewski
1
Birthdate: July 28, 1812
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: March 19, 1887

One of the greatest writers of the Romantic period in Poland, Józef Ignacy Kraszewski is best remembered for his historical novel An Ancient Tale. Accused of conspiring against the Russian government and imprisoned, he devoted his life to writing after his release. He was later imprisoned by Germany, too, for spying.

 27 

Eliza Orzeszkowa
1
Birthdate: June 6, 1841
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milkowszczyzna, Poland
Died: May 18, 1910

Eliza Orzeszkowa was a Polish novelist whose works revolved around the social and political conditions of her then-occupied country. One of the most important writers of the Positivism movement in Poland, Eliza Orzeszkowa was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905 along with Leo Tolstoy and Henryk Sienkiewicz.

 28 

Tadeusz Konwicki
1
Birthdate: June 22, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Naujoji Vilnia, Lithuania
Died: January 7, 2015

As a teenager, Polish author and director Tadeusz Konwicki was part of the Polish resistance movement, fighting against both the Nazis and the Soviets. He later penned award-winning works such as At the Construction Site and directed films such as The Last Day of Summer. Initially a communist, he later opposed the party.

 29 

Maria Dąbrowska
1
Birthdate: October 6, 1889
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Russow, Poland
Died: May 19, 1965

Maria Dąbrowska was a Polish writer, essayist, novelist, playwright, and journalist. She is best remembered for her historical novel Nights and Days, which were written in four separate volumes between 1932 and 1934. Maria Dąbrowska received five nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1935, she was honored by the Polish Academy of Literature with the prestigious Golden Laurel. 

Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer
1
Birthdate: February 12, 1865
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ludźmierz, Poland
Died: January 18, 1940

Initially a journalist, Polish poet and author Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer later joined the Young Poland movement. Many of his poems were first published in the periodical Życie, or Life. His best-known work remains Tales of the Tatras, which revolves around mountaineers. His later years were plagued by a mental illness.

 31 

Sergiusz Piasecki
1
Birthdate: April 1, 1901
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lyakhavichy
Died: September 12, 1964

Sergiusz Piasecki was a Polish writer who achieved widespread popularity during the mid-20th century. However, he couldn't achieve monetary success during 1920s and was forced to rob a suburban train near Wilno. He was subsequently imprisoned and the novel Lover of the Great Bear, which he wrote in prison, became the third most famous novel in the Second Polish Republic.

 32 

Gabriela Zapolska
1
Birthdate: March 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Podhajce, Ukraine
Died: December 21, 1921

One of the best novelists and playwrights from the Naturalist school of Poland, Gabriela Zapolska had initially had a failed acting career. Of her countless works, only a few survive, such as the farce Mrs. Dulska’s Morality. Highly influenced by naturalist author Émile Zola, she also included a journalistic tone.

 33 

Tadeusz Miciński
1
Birthdate: November 9, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland
Died: January 31, 1918

Tadeusz Miciński was a Polish poet, playwright, and gnostic. An influential figure, Miciński was a forerunner of Surrealism and Expressionism in Poland. Tadeusz Miciński was also a well-known revolutionary. His efforts to organize the Polish armed forces during the Russian Revolution were cut short when he was assassinated in 1918.

 34 
Józef Wittlin
(Novelist)

Józef Wittlin
0
Birthdate: August 17, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dmytrovychi, Ukraine
Died: February 28, 1976

Józef Wittlin was a Polish poet, novelist, and translator. Best remembered for his humanist views, Wittlin often expressed the importance of pacifism through his works. His book Salt of the Earth, which established Józef Wittlin as a prominent writer, is one of the finest examples of his best known work. 

 35 

Ferdynand Goetel
0
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Sucha Beskidzka, Poland
Died: November 24, 1960

A member of the Polish Academy of Literature, Ferdynand Goetel is best remembered for his novels and autobiographical writings. Interned by Russia in Tashkent during World War I, he later worked with the Red Army. From Day to Day remains one of his best-known works and has also been made into a film.

 36 

Willibald Alexis
0
Birthdate: June 29, 1798
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: December 16, 1871

Though he initially studied law, German author Willibald Alexis plunged into full-time writing after the success of his work Walladmor. He also gained fame as a literary critic and an editor, and later also authored a series of travelogues. A master of Prussian history, he was also part of the Young Germany movement.

 37 

Antoni Lange
0
Birthdate: April 28, 1862
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: March 17, 1929

Antoni Lange was a Polish poet, writer, novelist, philosopher, reporter, science-writer, translator, and polyglot. A representative of Polish symbolism and Parnassianism, Lange was also an expert on French literature and Romanticism. A prolific translator, Antoni Lange translated the works of several international authors into Polish. Lange’s work is often compared to Charles Marie René Leconte de Lisle and Stéphane Mallarmé. 

 38 

Jan Parandowski
0
Birthdate: May 11, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ukraine
Died: September 26, 1978

Polish author Jan Parandowski was also a renowned translator of classical works. His book The Olympic Discus fetched him a bronze medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He had also been the president of the Polish PEN Club. His works mostly revolved around Greek and Italian themes.

 39 

Leon Kruczkowski
0
Birthdate: June 28, 1900
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: August 1, 1962

Leon Kruczkowski was a Polish writer, public figure, and publicist. He achieved popularity during the post-World War II period when he also became active in politics. He served many important positions such as the deputy minister of culture and art between 1945 and 1948. Leon Kruczkowski also influenced the Polish cultural policies of that time.

 40 

Maria Kuncewiczowa
0
Birthdate: October 30, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Samara, Russia
Died: July 15, 1989

Maria Kuncewiczowa was a Polish novelist and writer whose works explored motherhood, femininity, sexuality, and desire. She achieved national and international fame after the release of her 1936 psychological novel Cudzoziemka, which was translated into many languages. In 1938, Maria Kuncewiczowa was honored by the Polish Academy of Literature with the prestigious Golden Laurel award.

 41 

Teodor Parnicki
0
Birthdate: March 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany
Died: December 5, 1988

Teodor Parnicki was a Polish writer best remembered for his historical novels. Many of his famous works are set in the late Byzantine and Roman Empires and the early medieval Middle East. Teodor Parnicki also served in the Polish Army during the Second World War.

 42 

Adolf Rudnicki
0
Birthdate: January 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: November 14, 1990

Adolf Rudnicki was a Polish essayist and author remembered for his works about the Jewish resistance in Poland and the Holocaust during the Second World War. Born into a Jewish family, Rudnicki survived the war despite being captured by the Nazis during Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland. After the war, his works threw light on the atrocities of the Nazis. 

 43 
Wacław Berent
(Novelist)

Wacław Berent
0
Birthdate: September 28, 1878
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: November 22, 1940

Wacław Berent was a Polish novelist, literary translator, and essayist. He is best remembered for serving as an important member of the Polish Academy of Literature. A visionary, Wacław Berent portrayed the origination of the Polish independence movement even before the Revolution of 1905 in his novel Winter Crop.

 44 

Adolf Dygasiński
0
Birthdate: March 7, 1839
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Niegosławice, Poland
Died: June 3, 1902

Adolf Dygasiński was a Polish novelist, educator, and publicist. A leading representative of Naturalism in Polish literature, Dygasiński wrote 42 short stories and novels which enjoyed considerable success after being published in book-form starting from 1884. His works were also translated into German and Russian.

 45 

Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski
0
Birthdate: February 24, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rzeszow, Poland
Died: August 8, 1944

Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski was a Polish novelist and journalist. He is best remembered for serving as a secretary general of the Polish Academy of Literature between 1933 and 1939 in the Second Polish Republic. During the Second World War, Juliusz Kaden-Bandrowski contributed immensely to the underground teaching program where he gave music lessons.

 46 

Karol Irzykowski
0
Birthdate: January 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Poland
Died: November 2, 1944

Karol Irzykowski was a Polish writer, film theoretician, literary critic, and chess player. He is best remembered for serving as an important member of the Polish Academy of Literature between 1933 and 1939. In one of his most important works titled Pałuba, which was released in 1903, Irzykowski anticipated several innovations made by experimentalists like Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.

 47 

Józef Korzeniowski
0
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brody, Ukraine
Died: August 3, 1924

Józef Korzeniowski was a Polish-British writer best remembered for bringing in a non-English sensibility into English literature. Although he didn't speak fluent English until his 20s, Józef Korzeniowski is often considered one of the greatest English language novelists of all time. Many of his works have inspired films, video games, TV series, and operas.