In this unique, panoramic account of faded dreams, journalist John Feffer returns to Eastern Europe a quarter of a century after the fall of communism, to track down hundreds of people he spoke to in the initial atmosphere of optimism as the Iron Curtain fell – from politicians and scholars to trade unionists and grass roots activists.What he discovers makes for fascinating, if sometimes disturbing, reading. From the Polish scholar who left academia to become head of personnel at Ikea to the Hun..
On the day that Paris fell to the Nazis, R. G. Waldeck was checking into the swankiest hotel in Bucharest, the Athene Palace. A cosmopolitan center during the war, the hotel was populated by Italian and German oilmen hoping to secure new business opportunities in Romania, international spies cloaked in fake identities, and Nazi officers whom Waldeck discovered to be intelligent but utterly bloodless. A German Jew and a reporter for Newsweek, Waldeck became a close observer of the Nazi invasion. ..
FROM THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE BOOK OF MIRRORS
You can't trust your own memories.
You can't trust other people's.
So how do you know what really happened that night?
One rainy night in New York, psychologist James Cobb gives a talk on the art of recovering lost memories. Afterwards, he's approached by a stranger: a dying man who, forty years ago, woke up in a hotel room with a murdered woman, and no memory at all of what happened. Now, he needs to know whether he was an inn..
Living and working in Romania, Guy and Harriet Pringle are forced to evacuate to Greece before the steady advance of the German army. The Balkan Trilogy is the remarkable portrait of their marriage, a haunting evocation of a vanished way of life and a delightfully ironic comedy of manners in a breaking world.
So glittering is the overall parade- and so entertaining the surface that the trilogy remains excitingly vivid; it amuses, it diverts and it informs, and to do these things so elegantl..
Vatanescu is striving for a better life, and with it a pair of football boots for his son - but his search has led him to collecting small change on the streets of Helsinki, and he needs something drastic to change his fortunes.His lucky break comes when a fellow outcast - a hare with an injured paw - hops into his life. In rescuing the little creature from certain death, he finds not just a companion, but a source of unexpected inspiration and wisdom.Together, the beggar and the hare embark on ..
Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Food & Drink Book of the YearWinner of the John Avery Award at the André Simon Food and Drink book awards 'The next best thing to actually travelling with Caroline Eden a warm, erudite and greedy guide is to read her. This is my kind of book.' Diana Henry'A wonderfully inspiring book about a magical part of the world' Viv Groskop, author of The Anna Karenina Fix'Part travelogue, part recipe book, this is a love letter to the sea that welcomes strangers , ..
There was life before the fall.1989 was a year of astonishing and rapid change: the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and an end to an entire way of life for millions of people behind the Iron Curtain. Bloc Life collects first hand testimony of the people who lived in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania during the Cold War era, and reveals a rich tapestry of experience that goes beyond the headlines of spies and surveillance, secret police and politi..
Longlisted for The Women's Prize for Fiction 2019, The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019 and The People's Book Prize 2018. 'Enjoyable to read' - Dolly Alderton, The High Low. When Alina's brother-in-law defects to the West, she and her husband become persons of interest to the secret services, causing both of their careers to come grinding to a halt. As the strain takes its toll on their marriage, Alina turns to her aunt for help - the wife of a communist leader and a secret practitioner of t..
Drawing on a Gramscian theoretical perspective and developing a systematic comparative approach, The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe challenges the received Tocquevillian consensus on authoritarianism by arguing that fascist regimes, just like mass democracies, depended on well-organised, rather than weak and atomised, civil societies. In making this argument the book focuses on three crucial cases of interwar authoritarianism: Italy, Spain and Romania, selected because they are all count..
Paul Celan (1920-1970) stands as one of the greatest post-war European poets, a writer whose painful struggle with the possibilities and limitations of German, his native language, has helped to define the response of poetry in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Celan's prose is as thought-provoking as, and less familiar than, his poetry. The writings and aphorisms on poetry and art illuminate the sources of his language: he explores the condition of being a stranger in the world, the necessity - a..
In cool, precise prose, and with an unerring sense of the absurd, the four novellas of Compulsory Happiness create a picture of everyday life in a grotesque police state, expressing terror and hope, fear and solidarity, the humorous triviality of the ordinary, and the painful search for an ideal. "Norman Manea's four novellas, written during the later Ceausescu years, offer a comparable contrast to other Eastern European dissident writing. Instead of the energetic irony, the ebullient absur..
Acknowledged as one of the major sculptors and avant-garde artists of the twentieth century, Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) also remained one of the most elusive. His mysterious nature was not only due to his upbringing in Romania - which, at the time, was still regarded by much of Europe as a backward country haunted by vampires and werewolves - but also because Brancusi was aware that myth and an 'aura of otherness' appealed to the public. This self-mythology is embodied in his white atelier ..
Crossing the Carpathians is a collection of poems about exile, family, and the survival of love. Carmen Bugan was born in Romania, and her book has its origins in her experiences during the 1980s, as a child of political dissidents and as an exile from her country. Written in America, Ireland, and England, her poems are about crossing countries and languages, recording loss and celebration, reconciling memories with dreams.
To say these poems are beautiful is to risk underselling them. It is t..
The short-sighted adolescent is a passionate reader who takes various cultural figures as models, trying to emulate both their lives or their works. The pupil protagonist is a poor student, who likes science and reads a lot of books, sometimes staying up all night to do so. At the age of 17, he decides to write a novel to demonstrate to his teachers that he is not as mediocre as his other classmates, and that he is prepared to give up everything he holds dear in order to do so. The novel is writ..
Deported to a concentration camp from 1941 until the end of the war, Norman Manea again left his native Romania in 1986 to escape the Ceausescu regime. He now lives in New York. In this selection of essays, he explores the language and psyche of the exiled writer. Among pieces on the cultural-political landscape of Eastern Europe and on the North America of today, there are astute critiques of fellow Romanian and American writers. Manea answers essential questions on censorship and on linguistic..
During the First World War, just behind the eastern front, there was a forest, where Austrians and Hungarians used to hang deserters. To this place came Apostol Bologa, a young Romanian officer eager to serve his country. Born in a Romanian region of Transylvania which was then under Hungarian rule, he had naturally enough joined the Austro-Hungarian army. But soon Romania itself entered the war, and Bologa found himself fighting his own people. The Forest of the Hanged asks a fundamental questi..
The figure of the gypsy is simultaneously vilified and romanticized. Gypsies have for centuries been associated with criminality and dirt, but also with colour, magic and music. Gypsy music is popular around the world, and is performed at occasions that include weddings in Bulgaria, jazz shows in Paris and festivals in the USA. Performers like Taraf de Haidouks and the Boban Markovic Orkestar remain popular for their more traditional sounds, while groups such as Gogol Bordello have gained new au..
Appalling and tragic, Ognjen Spahic's exceptional short novel animates the misery of Ceasescu's Romania and its inglorious fall with a metaphor fully up to the task: leprosy. Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen was a Norwegian scientist who isolated the Mycobacterium leprae in 1873 and his 'children' are the tragic sufferers of this ghastly disease. In Spahic's novel, it's 1989 and a dozen of them are confined to the last leper house in Europe, an under-equipped facility located in a miserable corner ..
Awarded Prix Médicis Etranger 2006 - Prix MédicisRomanian exile Norman Manea's internationally acclaimed memoir/novel, now available to English-language readers At the center of The Hooligan's Return is the author himself, always an outcast, on a bleak lifelong journey through Nazism and communism to exile in America. But while Norman Manea's book is in many ways a memoir, it is also a deeply imaginative work, traversing time and place, life and literature, dream and reality, past and present. A..