Dora Pavel was born in Sintandrei, Hunedoara County, on 26 June 1946. She studied Philology at the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj, graduating in 1969. She taught Romanian literature in Alba Iulia and Deva and went on to become a researcher at the Institute of Linguistics and Literary History in Cluj. Since 1990 she has been an editor for the Radio Cluj Territorial Studio and a presenter of broadcasts on literature and cultivation of the Romanian language. She made her literary debut in Steaua magazine in 1972. Her work was included in the Alpha ’84 anthology published by Editura Dacia in 1984. She subsequently had a poetic interlude, publishing the collections Chance Narrations (1989), The Exhumed Poem (1994), Intermediate Brain (1997), and The Labours of Don Quixote (2000). She has published three books of dialogues with Romanian writers and a collection of short stories: Turn Back, Esther (1999), which was republished in an expanded edition, with the title Animal on Alert, in 2010. Since her first novel, Agatha Dying (2003; 2nd edition, Polirom, 2004), which was awarded the Prize of the Union of Romanian Writers, she has devoted herself entirely to prose fiction, which she trenchantly regards as the most legitimate and challenging literary form. Consistent with this conviction, she went on to write the novels The Captive (2006), Powder (2010), and Do Not Cross (2013), all published by Polirom and awarded the Prize of the Cluj Branch of the Union of Romanian Writers.