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 disturbin..
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 bloodle..
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 ..
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 tril..
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 Karenin..
Winner of the 2013 Swiss Leuk Spycher Preis and the Serbian Grand Prize for International Poetry in Novi Sad
Part visceral dream-memoir, part fictive journey through a hallucinatory Bucharest, Mircea Cărtărescu's Blinding was one of the most widely heralded literary sensations in contemporary Romania, and a bestseller from the day of its release. Riddled with hidden passageways, mesmeriz..
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 tapes..
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 marria..
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 cruci..
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 so..
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 contr..
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 ..
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, reconc..
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 classm..
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 fel..
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, ..
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..
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 imag..
Victoria has just recently moved from Zurich back to her hometown of Bucharest when the bank where she works is robbed. Put on leave so that she can process the trauma of the robbery, Victoria strolls around town. Each street triggers sudden visions as memories from her childhood under the Ceausescu regime begin to mix with the radically changed city and the strange world in which she now finds he..
Mihail Sebastian was a promising young Jewish writer in pre-war Bucharest, a novelist, playwright, poet and journalist who counted among his friends the leading intellectuals and social luminaries of a sophisticated Eastern European culture. Because of Romania's opportunistic treatment of Jews, he survived the war and the Holocaust, only to be killed in a road accident early in 1945. His remarkabl..
Now available for the first time in English, Manea's acclaimed novel of emigres in America, free yet imprisoned by the past Norman Manea, Romania's most famous contemporary author, twice has survived the grip of totalitarian regimes. No stranger to exile, he mines its complexities and disorientations in this extraordinarily compelling novel, The Lair. Exile in the motherland and away from it is th..
"In the craven world of architectural criticism Hatherley is that rarest of things: a brave, incisive, elegant and erudite writer, whose books dissect the contemporary built environment to reveal the political fantasies and social realities it embodies." (Will Self).
During the course of the twentieth century, communism took power in Eastern Europe and remade the city in its own image. Ransac..
WINNER OF WALES BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE 2012 WINNER OF THE 2012 WRITERS GUILD AWARD FOR 'BEST FICTION BOOK' LONG-LISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2011 SHORT-LISTED FOR THE 2011 COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD SHORT-LISTED FOR THE DESMOND ELLIOT PRIZE 2012 SHORT-LISTED FOR THE AUTHORS CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD 2012 Set during Ceausescu's last hundred days in power, Patrick McGuinness's accomplished debut..
A young man is found lying unconscious on the outskirts of Bucharest. No one knows who he is and everyone has a different theory about how he got there. The stories of the various characters unfold, each closely interwoven with the next, and outlining the features of what ultimately turns out to be the most important and most powerful character of all: the city of Bucharest itself.
The novel ..
Born of a terrible insomnia--"a dizzying lucidity which would turn even paradise into hell"--this book presents the youthful Cioran, a self- described "Nietzsche still complete with his Zarathustra, his poses, his mystical clown's tricks, a whole circus of the heights." On the Heights of Despair shows Cioran's first grappling with themes he would return to in his mature works: despair and decay, a..
The first Anvil edition of this book was awarded the EC's inaugural European Translation Prize in 1990. Paul Celan is among the most important German-language poets of the century, and, in George Steiner's words, 'almost certainly the major European poet of the period after 1945.' He was born in 1920 into a Jewish family in Bukovina, a German enclave in Romania which was destroyed by the Nazis. Hi..
Romania occupies a unique position on the map of Eastern Europe. It is a country that presents many paradoxes. In this book the pre-eminent Romanian historian Lucian Boia examines his native land's development from the Middle Ages to modern times, delineating its culture, history, language, politics and ethnic identity. Boia introduces us to the heroes and myths of Romanian history, and provides a..
Sal, the protagonist of 'Sun Alley', is an exceptionally intelligent twelve-year-old boy, experiencing his first love. One summer afternoon, on his way to see his girlfriend Emi, he is caught in a rain shower and shelters in the hallway of a block of flats. Led by a strong odour, he goes down into the basement, where he comes upon the corpse of a young and very beautiful woman. Little by little,..
By the mid-1930s, Emil Cioran was already known as a leader of a new generation of politically committed Romanian intellectuals. Researching another, more radical book, Cioran was spending hours in a library poring over the lives of saints. As a modern hagiographer, Cioran "dreamt" himself "the chronicler of these saints' falls between heaven and earth, the intimate knower of the ardors in their h..
DRACULA. A name of horror, depravity and the darkest sensuality.
Yet the real Dracula was just as alluring, just as terrifying, his story not of a monster but of a man - and a contradiction. For the one they called 'The Devil's Son' was both tyrant and lawgiver, crusader and mass slaughterer, torturer and hero, lover and murderer.
His tale is told by those who knew him best. The only woman h..
Stefan Valeriu, a young man from Romania who has just completed his medical studies in Paris, spends his vacation in the Alps, where he quickly becomes entangled with three different women. We follow Stefan after his return to Paris as he reflects on the women in his life, at times playing the lover, and at others observing shrewdly from the periphery. Women's four interlinked stories offer moving..
Bucharest, 1938: while Hitler gains power in Germany, the Romanian police start arresting students they suspect of belonging to the Iron Guard. Meanwhile, a man who has spent his life studying languages, poetry, and history—a man who thought his life was over—lies in a hospital bed, inexplicably alive and miraculously healthy, trying to figure out how to conceal his identity.At the intersection of..
A Short History of Decay (1949) is E. M. Cioran's nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe. Touching upon Man's need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran's pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certai..
I've been summoned, Thursday, ten sharp.' So begins one day in the life of a young clothing-factory worker during Ceausescu's totalitarian regime. She has been questioned before, but this time she knows it will be worse. Her crime? Sewing notes into the linings of men's suits bound for Italy. 'Marry me', the notes say, with her name and address. Anything to get out of the country.
As she ride..
For the past 50 years, Mircea Dinescu has been one of Romanian poetry's most provocative and obstinately singular poets. After starting out as a writer of highly musical poetry that he spun round in his fingers with the aplomb of a magician who refuted reality, he ended up stuck in free verse, impelled mainly because of the surrealism of a world in which the label and the content of any box seld..
This book offers a vivid and human glimpse into Europe's borderlands as they emerged from Soviet rule - back in print after nearly 20 years.
'In this superb book, in which one senses the spirit of Franz Kafka and Bruno Schulz, the dramatic world of the Eastern borderlands comes to life.' (Ryszard Kapuscinski).
As Europe's borderlands emerged from Soviet rule, Anne Applebaum travelled from ..
Black Sea is a homage to an ocean and its shores and a meditation on Eurasian history, from the earliest times to the present. It explores the culture, history and politics of the volatile region which surrounds the Black Sea.
Ascherson recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid's place of exile on what is now the coast of Romania; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the mysterious Chr..
The Danube is Europe's Amazon. It flows through more countries than any other river on Earth - from the Black Forest in Germany to Europe's farthest fringes, where it joins the Black Sea in Romania. Andrew Eames' journey along its length brings us face to face with the Continent's bloodiest history and its most pressing issues of race and identity.
As he travels - by bicycle, horse, boat and ..
This is the one Book you won't forget in 2017. A gripping psychological thriller full of hidden fragments and dark reflections. How would you piece together a murder? Do you trust other people's memories? Do you trust your own? Should you?
Princeton, 1987: renowned psychologist Professor Joseph Weider is brutally murdered. New York, twenty-five years later: literary agent Peter Katz receives ..
Back from the dead: the first ever zombie story
Before there was Dracula, there was The Castle in Transylvania. In its first new translation in over 100 years, this is the first book to set a gothic horror story, featuring people who may or may not be dead, in Transylvania.
In a remote village cut off from the outside world by the dark mountains of Transylvania, the townspeople have come t..
Romania's comic genius Marin Sorescu was so popular during the worst of the Ceausescu years that his readings had to be held in football stadiums, and his books sold hundreds of thousands of copies. While his witty, ironic parables were not directly critical of the régime, Romanians used to a culture of double-speak could read other meanings in his playful mockery of the human condition.
Almost two decades have passed since the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Robert Service, one of our finest historians of modern Russia, sets out to examine the history of communism throughout the world. His uncomfortable conclusion - and an important message for the twenty-first century – is that although communism in its original form is now dead or dying, the poverty and ..
In this fascinating journey Claudio Magris, whose knowledge is encyclopaedic and whose curiosity limitless, guides his reader from the source of the Danube in the Bavarian hills through Austro-Hungary and the Balkans to the Black Sea. Along the way he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments - from Ovid to Kafka and Canetti - and in so doing sets his finger on the pulse of Central..
Paler wrote a number of poetry collections during his lifetime. The poems, which appear as definitions , are rather like Haiku in their intensity and succinctness: condensed descriptions of a feeling or a moment, they offer us an open door into the larger world of internal reflection. Dosage: read one a day before meals or lingering over coffee
Fresh from their victory in Germania, Marcus Aquila and the Tungrians have been sent to Dacia, on the north-eastern edge of the Roman Empire, with the mission to safeguard a major source of imperial power. The mines of Alburnus Major contain enough gold to pave the road to Rome. They would make a mighty prize for the marauding Sarmatae tribesmen who threaten the province, and the outnumbered aux..
The Cold War had seemed like a permanent fixture in global politics, and until its denouement, no Western or Soviet politician foresaw that the stand-off between the two superpowers - after decades of struggle over every aspect of security, politics, economics and ideas - would end in their lifetimes. Even after March 1985 when Mikhail Gorbachëv became the leader of the Soviet Union it was not p..
A prescient interwar masterpiece, available in English for the first time
'Absolutely, definitively alone', a young Jewish student in Romania tries to make sense of a world that has decided he doesn't belong. Spending his days walking the streets and his nights drinking and gambling, meeting revolutionaries, zealots, lovers and libertines, he adjusts his eyes to the darkness that falls over E..