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Iulian Ciocan

Biography

Iulian Ciocan (b. 6 April 1968, Kishinev, Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldavia) is a novelist, journalist and literary critic. He is a commentator for Radio Free Europe. Published novels: Before Brezhnev Died (Polirom, 2007; Czech translation, Dybbuk, 2009); The Realm of Sasha Kozak (Tracus Arte, 2011; Slovak translation, Kalligram, 2015; French translation, Belleville, 2017); And in the Morning the Russians Will Arrive (Polirom, 2015), The Queen of Hearts (Polirom, 2018). He has published short prose in magazines and anthologies published in the USA., Germany, China, Czechia, Bulgaria, Belgium, and Brazil. He has been a guest of the PEN World Voices Festival in New York (2011), the Jassy International Festival of Literature and Translation (2015), and Amsterdam Literature Night....

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Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, EGO. PROSE series, Polirom, 2018, 208 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

The monotonous life of Nistor Polobok, a corrupt official working in Chisinau City Hall, takes a dangerous turn after a crack appears in the tarmac next to his majestic villa. Unobtrusive at first, the crack grows wider and wider, finally becoming a huge crater that swallows everything in its path. A sin on the official’s part is supposed to be to blame, a sin that only a “queen of hearts” can absolve. More and more legends spring up around the crater, which inexorably swallows houses and neighbourhoods: a pensioner dies immediately after the first appearance of the crack; another pensioner, who has been trying for years to obtain Romanian citizenship, is swallowed by the ravenous pit on the eve of his permanent departure for Romania; Chisinau’s corrupt mayor ends up in hospital in a serious condition after people left homeless by the crater attack City Hall; and a librarian living in fear of a cataclysm allows himself to be taken in by a conman politician, the founder of the Anti-Pit Party. The Queen of Hearts is a disturbing novel that explores the underbelly of a corrupt system, revealing the ugly hidden face of the political scene.

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Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Ego. Prose series, Polirom, 2015, 256 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

On 26 June 2020, Latin teacher Nicanor Turturica flees Chisinau after the Russian army invades the Republic of Moldova. But he is unable to take refuge in Romania because his passport has expired. Returning to Chisinau, he finds the airport under siege, and before his very eyes a MIG fighter shoots down an aeroplane packed with Moldovan politicians fleeing in an attempt to save their skins. Soon afterwards, he is arrested... This grotesque and terrifying imaginary world is based on one of Moldovans’ greatest fears. At another level, the author of this futuristic scenario, a Bessarabian student, returns to Chisinau from Romania after graduating with a Degree in Philology. It is 1995, and the rapacious post-communist transition period devours countless destinies. Characters from different social backgrounds experience intense dramas, which, viewed from another angle, might seem completely ridiculous. Trying to get a small publishing house to accept his dystopia, the young writer comes up against countless problems, which culminate in a Kafkaesque trial, when he is accused of treason. And in the Morning the Russians Will Arrive weaves together two fascinating stories, with the fantastic being prefigured by the surrounding “reality”, a prophecy of a grim and uncertain future.

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