Gabriel Chifu


Gabriel Chifu was born on 22 March 1954 in Calafat. He is the vice-president of the Union of Romanian Writers and the executive director of ”Romania literara” magazine. He made his literary debut in 1976, with a volume of poems, Refuge in the Heart. He has published eight collections of poetry: The Eruptive Real (1979), An Interpretation of Purgatory (1982), Crème de la Crème (1983), The Unbounded Man (1987), The Story of a Latin Country from the East (1994), At the Edge of God (1998), The Blind Man’s Cane (2003), Notes from a Mysterious Realm (Cartea Romaneasca, 2004), and A Hundred Poems (preface by Nicolae Manolescu, Ramuri, 2006). His first published prose work was the novel Where the Eagles Rest (1987), which was followed by the novels The Wave and the...

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Novel, “Fiction Ltd” series, Polirom, 2014, 368 pages

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Having finally found out that his parents were not his real parents, but had adopted him at birth, a respected psychiatrist tries to unravel the mystery of his coming into the world, asking a friend, writer and journalist Valentin Dumnea, to investigate the matter. Dumnea both reaches and fails to reach the truth, but he does come across a strange character, a centenarian professor, who might be said to be the master of the story: the story of the child’s mother and his potential father, who might be either one of the two schoolmates with whom the young woman had amorous relations, both of them brilliant, but diametrically opposed, the one an angel, the other a demon. The story of the son seeking his father is merely the pretext for the wider story, about the dramatic historical period from 1940 to 2012, with the traumas of the Second World War, the arrival of the Red Army, and above all the horrors of the communist prisons. Like a new Scheherazade, for ten days, the centenarian professor, who is eyewitness, character and storyteller, adds fragment after fragment to the tale, until it is complete, the way one might add bead after bead to a string. Moving in reverse chronological order, Full Stop and Anew is a moving book about pain, about the destruction wrought by man’s hand, about stained honour and the worthlessness engendered by limitless opportunism.

Awarded the Grand Prize of the Cluj National Festival of Literature, 2014.


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