The HSW Literary Agency



Bernard S. Grzyb

Bernard Grzyb was born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army Security Agency that stationed him in Miami during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Grzyb taught English for the New Jersey public school system. He holds a doctorate from Rutgers University, and has practiced and taught psychology in both Canada and the United States. 

Grzyb has published numerous essays on psychology, and studied creative writing with William Kowalski, Ryerson University, and the Humber School for Writers. Through Humber he worked with Peter Carey on early chapters of The View from Mt. Palooka. Other mentors include Roddy Doyle and Bruce Jay Friedman, the latter who nominated a chapter of Mt. Palooka for a North American summer writing workshop award. This excerpt would later be shortlisted in the CBC/Saturday Night literary competition.

A father of two and grandfather of two, Grzyb resides in Toronto with his partner, Susan.

Work on Offer:

The View From Mt. Palooka

In a Pennsylvania anthracite-mining town in 1953, bright but anxious Jimmy Stapinski struggles with his thirteen-year-old hormones and devout Polish-Catholic upbringing. 

Driven by fear of eternal damnation and a desire to please his chronically unhappy mother, Jimmy resolves to be “good” when Father Ed Grabowski—a local priest with keen business acumen and dreams of erecting a Polish Hall of Fame in a decrepit motel—captures Jimmy’s imagination with tales of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the great Polish pianist and patriot whose dying wish was to have his heart interred in Warsaw.  Unfortunately, World War II and the Cold War intervened, and then Paderewski’s sister forgot where she put the heart.

With his irreverent cousin Lala as a reluctant partner, Jimmy sets out to find Paderewski’s missing heart, certain his success will not only secure his redemption, but also bring him fortune, fame, and the affection of Marion Krooger, the pretty daughter of the radio star and band leader Count Polka.

Brimming with larger-than-life characters and fraught with moral ambiguity, unexpected tragedy and triumph, The View From Mt. Palooka draws the reader into Jimmy Stapinski’s world with great humor and affection.

Manuscript forthcoming
Rights: World