Three years of work and long weeks awaiting for the decision of the publishing house if they would dare to publish a book that deals with the controversial and “uncomfortable” topic of paedophilia – this is how Magdalena Louis, a spokesperson at the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszów, speaks about her book.

Once again, the author uses her own experiences which she collected over the years while working for the British justice system.

The toughest passages of the book are real situations. A scene from a wedding, after which many people simply put “Sonia” away for a while, is not literary fiction – says Magdalena Louis.

When asked for the reason of taking up such a topic, which in recent months has appeared many times in newspapers’ headlines, she admits she hesitated for a long time whether to write or not a book on social issues.

When I started to build characters of “Sonia”, both antagonists and protagonists, I could not decide for long who would be a narrator of this story, to carry my message. Finally, the events were narrated by a sister of the sexually abused character. The victim herself and culprits are almost absent, and it was done intentionally, since the book is about a burning issue,  a problem of looking away and not reacting.

We do not have any influence on how a paedophile behaves, how they fulfil their sexual needs;  we cannot stop them, but we must and can protect children. There is a need for a huge, awareness-raising social campaign, billboards showing the scale of the problem, the action which calls a spade a spade. 80% of child sexual abuse happens in the child’s near surrounding, and the culprit is known by the child. In the USA, 50% of men convicted of paedophilia were married. Unfortunately , for Poland statistics are scarce; it is said that every eighth child is molested  (in Europe, every fifth) but it is more likely that in Poland such crimes are simply not reported, because of shame, fear or belief that legal system would not work or people would not believe.

“Sonia”, published by Świat Książki publishing house, appeared in bookshops on February 13, 2019, however the official book launch event took place on March 20th in IQ club at UITM. Maria Kornaga, a journalist from the Polish Radio in Rzeszów, hosted the meeting.

Magdalena Louis

A writer, journalist, columnist. Born in Rzeszów. After 26 years abroad (USA and England) in 2014 she decided to come back to Poland for good. Currently, she lives and works in Rzeszów as a Spokesperson at the University of Information Technology and Management and the President’s Plenipotentiary for international cooperation.

Ms Louis coordinates the Christmas Book Fair in Rzeszów, runs her own course on creative writing  and is a regular columnist for the VIP magazine and the Podkarpackie Biznes i Styl portal.

In 2004 she took part in the national competition “Pisz do Pilcha” in which her story entitled. “A well” was chosen from among 3000 entries and published in the collection under the same title.

In 2010 her first novel –  “Ślady hamowania”-  received a special mention in the competition “World of Women.”

A year later in 2011, she published another novel ,”Pola”, which was chosen by the readers and for which she received the first prize in the Festival of Literature in Siedlce.

At the same festival in 2013, another novel by Magdalena Louis “Kilka przypadków szczęśliwych”  won the first prize. This novel was also awarded the “Golden Pen” by the Polish Writers’ Union.

The novel ‘Zaginione’ was published in 2016 by Świat Książki.

On 6 February 2018, the documentary story entitled “I want to believe in your innocence,” was published by  Prószyński i S-ka Publishing House; it is a collection of literary reportages  summarizing the work for the English justice system for which Magdalena Louis worked for several years.

Sonia” – the latest book by Magdalena Louis appeared in bookshops  on 19th February 2019.