Had two daughters with his wife Danuta: Maria Konwicka and Anna Konwicka.
His wife was a book illustrator and sister of director-painter Jan Lenica.
He was conscripted into a Nazi labor force, and worked clearing a forest and then escaped, joining the partisans. After the war, he studied in Krakow and then in Warsaw, but never graduated from college. He became a reporter and critic, writing mainly about film, and began to write short stories and novels.
He was forced to leave high school at the outbreak of WWII, when the Nazis forbade Poles to attend school. He finished his class work clandestinely.
His most acclaimed novel, "A Minor Apocalypse" (1979), is widely considered to be among the most important works of post-WWII Eastern European literature. It is required reading for all Polish high school students.
His books were officially released and widely read when he was in favor with the government authorities; but by the late 1960s and early '70s, when his works were no longer officially approved, they were available only in clandestine editions.
Retrospective at the 15th New Horizons Film Festival (2015).