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: $20.00
Item Number: MGD
Publisher / Author: Smith-Gordon
ISBN: 978-1854632494

Letters of André Tchaikowsky and Halina Janowska 1956-1982 

By: Anita Halina Janowska
Translated by: Jacek Laskowski

My Guardian Demon tells the story of two remarkable artists. Separated by the Iron Curtain, their twenty-five year correspondence, occasionally censored, gives an intimate view of their unique bond. In their letters that were funny and sometimes brutally honest, Halina and André shared a consuming love of music and literature and a fascination with the foibles of human nature. 'You know that Rimbaud is my guardian demon' - were André's words in a letter to Halina.
André's homage to his alter ego and their shared dark side led him four years later with sardonic wit to donate his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was subsequently used in performances of Hamlet starring David Tennant. Arthur Rubinstein said of André, "I think André Tchaikowsky is one of the finest pianists of his generation - he is even better than that - he is a wonderful musician." Yet André's professional passion was composition. In 2013, three decades after his death, André's opera, The Merchant of Venice, was premiered by David Pountney at the Bregenz Festival gaining international recognition.  
Author Anita Halina Janowska has journeyed from musical conservatoire to a PhD in criminology and a career as a writer. In Poland, My Guardian Demon ( - moj diabel stroz) has achieved three editions and cult status making André Tchaikowsky a household name.

"You have made me really happy with this book! It is a genuine love story, about the difficult, complicated, but constantly-revived relations between two extraordinary people"-  Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel Prize winner for Literature.

"These letters between the pianist André Tchaikowsky and his closest friend Halina Janowska, form a narrative which is almost a love story and yet, at the same time, rather more than a love story. By turns tender, wise, frustrating and often deeply moving, this is a book which will make you think about that dangerous but fascinating place where friendship and romantic love overlap" - Jonathan Coe, writer and novelist, author of Expo 58



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