Carmen Firan is a poet, journalist, playwright, and screenwriter. She settled in New York in 2000. She is a member of the Union of Romanian Writers, the Society of American Poets, and PEN American Centre, New York. In 2002, she was awarded the poetry prize of The New York Review of Books. Her work has been published in magazines, anthologies and separate collections in France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Israel, Canada, Germany, and Sweden. The books she has published in Romania include the poetry collections Punished Candours (2000), Desperate Conquests (2004) and The Woman of Sand (2018), and the prose works The Practical Joke (2002), The Radiator Man and the Hermeneut’s Wife (2005), The Power of Words (2007), Small and Medium Miracles (2009), The Director of Feelings...
Novel, EGO. PROSE series, Polirom, 2019, 240 pages
A love story set in the final decade of communism, In the Waters of Birth describes the atmosphere of those times without ostentation, via the lives of young intellectuals caught in the trap of history. The story of a nameless protagonist is complemented by three different voices, which alternately take up the narrative thread, illustrating the cruel reality, the dreams and utopias of the characters. Feeling he lives in an existential prison, the antihero of the novel decides he has not yet been born. He has not yet been born because he has not yet done anything important; he has nothing to look forward to in the future, nothing to leave behind him. But the parable is also a revolt against the system, a form of resistance to political alienation, in the hope of finding a meaning to life. The portrait of nineteen-eighties Bucharest is spiced with love affairs, scenes from the lives of the nomenklatura, but also scenes from the lives of bohemian artists; the reality of those times is finely observed, lucidly analysed, without bitterness.