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Book Review – ‘Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu

September 17th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, Reviews

‘Last Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu
During the 20th century Romanians made France or Germany their adoptive country, although some settled elsewhere in the world. But those Romanians who wrote in French or German were little translated in English and even fewer of them wrote in English. We can think of Panait Istrati, Countess of Noailles, or Princess Bibesco, before WWII who wrote in French and after the war, amongst the exile novelists such as Virgil Gheorghiu, Mircea Eliade, Vintilă Horia, Gregor von Rezzori, Herta Muller, who wrote in French, Romanian or German.Nevertheless few of their titles were rendered in English and amongst the latter fewer still became bestsellers, let alone enjoy the accolade of an International Prize.

If the Czechs had Kundera, the Albanians Ismail Kadere, so far the spotlight of international repute has generally bypassed Romania, leaving her literature in the shadows. This lapse could not be assigned only to the paucity of translation alone, but primarily to the absence of a broader perspective by the Romanian fiction writers, who were reduced for far too long, by Nicolae Ceausescu, to write in the wooden language of Marxist sycophantic speak.

Domnica Radulescu, known as an Academic rather than a fiction writer is only at her second novel, yet the omens are good: watch out this space.

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