Andrei Craciun (b. 1983) has variously studied Public Administration, Political Sciences, the History of Ideas and Mentalities, and Jewish Culture and Civilisation, at the University of Bucharest, Escuela de Escritores, Madrid, and Tel Aviv University. Since 2005, he has written for the press, publishing articles in Romania’s leading newspapers and magazines, and is one of the country’s pioneers of freelancing. He was among the founders of the much-loved website Recorder.ro. He has been named Most Talented Young Journalist (2005), Best Cultural Journalist (2010), Best Editorialist (2011), and Best Romanian Reporter (2012). He has published numerous volumes of essays, poetry, and prose. He has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch as part of the...
Novel, EGO.PROSE series, Polirom, 2019, 120 pages
And Happiness Was Compulsory sails the sea of memory in Andrei Craciun’s inimitable style. In the novel we encounter Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu as they ride in the Queen of England’s carriage; the dark 1980s; the ex-Securitate agents and the early profiteers of the transition period; and other extraordinary characters, such as the blind gypsy wise man who has the power to see the future and a young woman from a southern-Italian mafia family. The storyteller is a journalist who roams the earth in search of the truth behind an old Hungarian ballad that had the power to push people to the verge of suicide. A traveller who wanders through ports and backstreets, he endlessly searches for subjects to report on in places at the edge of the world, tortured by agonising melancholy for the lost paradise of Dawn Lane, the street of his childhood. And Happiness Was Compulsory is a book about the promises of early beginnings, about communism and post-communism, newspapers and broken hearts, love and death.