Exuberant… Kowalski is a talented stylist.

–The New York Times Book Review


“William Kowalski’s latest novel blends historical fiction with the present-day story of one Iggy Podbielski, who is down on his luck in his marriage and his proprietorship of a failing family restaurant. Fortunately for us, Iggy’s reaction to his plight is not complacent, but defiant and achingly human. Told with humor and great heart, THE BEST POLISH RESTAURANT IN BUFFALO is a love letter to the author’s ancestors, hand-made pierogies, and the immigrant history that we all share.“


“A moving and captivating portrait of one immigrant’s struggle to make life better for herself and her family, THE BEST POLISH RESTAURANT IN BUFFALO is a relevant book for our time, an important reminder that we all descended from refugees who risked their lives to escape tyranny, and to ensure the freedom of future generations. A wonderful, heart-warming read!”

—Ellen Wiseman, best-selling author of THE PLUM TREE, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND, COAL RIVER, and THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN

“A sensitive, intelligent and deeply moving testament to the courage of immigrants, this is a novel that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it. Highly recommended.”

—Richard Zimler, best-selling author of THE LAST KABBALIST OF LISBON and The WARSAW ANAGRAMS


“Exuberant… Kowalski is a talented stylist.” (The New York Times Book Review)

“Vividly impressionistic prose.” (London Times, #5 best-seller)

“The 28-year-old author gives his first novel an appealing Dickensian flavor.” (People)

“Kowalski’s vigorous storytelling will keep the pages turning.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

“A notable literary debut…Here’s one satisfying novel by a writer of great promise.”(America Magazine)

“Kowalski writes in a style so natural that the reader is only aware of the story… highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

Eddie’s Bastard is a rich kaleidoscope of a tale that draws the reader in from the get-go and refuses to relinquish its hold. Most of all, it’s a family’s story told with warmth and humility, rich with imagination and grit.” (Denver Post)

“For readers who enjoy the eccentric and rambling narratives of John Irving.” (Baltimore Sun)

“A rich and readable family history, filled with tales of wars, stolen treasure, hauntings, family fiascoes, and, most of all, a young man’s self-discovery… Kowalski is a gifted storyteller.” (San Antonio Express News)

“This is a big old-fashioned book in every possible way… Often funny, at times aching—a fine beginning to launch a novelist.” (Brooklyn Bridge Magazine)

“A grand debut. Eddie’s Bastard is a beguiling blend of narrative con brio, human-heartedness, and zany surprises.” (Gail Godwin, author of Evensong)

  • Winner of the 1999 Rosenstein Award for Best First Novel
  • Winner of the 2001 Ama-Boeke Award (South Africa)
  • Official Selection of the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program (1999)
  • An international bestseller, with translations available in over a dozen languages


“Many of you have been writing to request more book recommendations. How many books do you read at once? I usually have two going at the same time. There’s the book you rip through, that doesn’t take very long, and then the book you spend an hour with every night, slowly. Sometimes you just want to make it last longer, to honour the care and the commitment of the author; sometimes it’s because the story is so devastating you have to take your time; sometimes it’s because you’re trying to convince yourself that by the time you’re done, the world might not be as cruel as the one that’s been written; and sometimes the book is like life, and it takes time to process. William Kowalski’s The Hundred Hearts is all of the above. Also, it looks like a Burberry shirt, only much cheaper and will keep a lot longer.” (Lainey Lui, LaineyGossip.com)

“Kowalski proves himself a maestro at characterization and dialogue, a talent that comes in handy when his characters are performing questionable deeds.” (Winnipeg Review)

“Timely, beautifully written, and memorable.” (Owen Sound Sun-Times)

“Kowalski’s searing novel is an account that manages to be a portrayal, both pitilessly accurate and strangely tender, of the toll of battle on soldiers and their families, and on the civilians in the strange lands where both American men were sent to add up what Wellington called ‘the butcher’s bill’ of battle.” (Globe and Mail)

Winner of the 2014 Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award


Rapid Reads for Reluctant Readers.

“Readers struggling with literacy issues or learning English will appreciate the simple, straightforward style and plot-driven narratives, diverse cultures, sensitive contemporary issues and social injustice are all difficult topics tackled appropriately without diverting the story. The discussion-worthy issues and themes are delivered via a high caliber plot and efficient style of writing. Recommended.” (CM Magazine)

2011 Ontario Library Association’s Golden Oak Award Nominee

2011 SLJ’s Top Book Choices for Youth in Detention List

The cover image of this page is called “The Steerage”. It was taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1907. The ship is the Kaiser Wilhelm II, which my great-grandmother traveled on when she immigrated to the U.S. from Poland in 1908. Learn more about the image here. Learn more about Alfred Stieglitz here.

“The Steerage” is in the public domain.