It arrived uninvited and unexpected right into my busy life. Busy with being a wife, mothering two boys, working professionally, and still adjusting to my new country and new language. It did not arrive in a storm, but softly, like a seductive lover in the middle of the night. And just like the lover, it became part of me and changed my life dramatically. Soon it became demanding and even destructive. It brought me pain and joy, excitement and vulnerability, frustration and satisfaction. It did not leave me, even when I tried to part with it. Finally it became my identity.
That is how my love affair with the written word began. That is why I am a writer today - a writer in another language.
There is power, beauty, and permanence in the written word. Living in another language has sharpened my awareness of that.
Alicja Mann divides her time between Tucson, Cape Cod and Warsaw. Born and educated in Poland, she immigrated to the U.S. in the 1970's, made her home on Cape Cod and worked for several years as a scientist, translator and mother. Once she became comfortable in her new county and new language, she left science to pursue her writing career. Alicja's feature stories, personality profiles, social and political commentaries have been published in regional and national magazines, including the Cape Cod Times, Cape Cod Life, In These Times, and the New Leader. She is a former op-ed columnist for the Cape Cod Times and co-author of Son of Mashpee, a book dedicated to the Wampanoags, their heritage, and culture. Currently she is working on a book-length collection of her essays.