Filip Florian

Excerpt from

Critics about

novel, "Fiction LTD" series, Polirom, 2007, 256 pages

Copyright: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Translation rights sold to: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA, world wide rights), Suhrkamp (DE), Magveto (HU), Czarne (PL), Kalligram (SK), Didakta (SI), Acantilado (ES), Fazi (IT), Ciela (BG), Animar (EG), Bokvennen (NO), Altin Bilek (TR)

Critics about

"Little Fingers is an exceptional debut, the debut of an already sovereign writer. A playful text, in which the horrific tends to turn into the grotesque. It’s a question of repressed guilt, of course. And the general mistrust following the end of a tyranny. Fascinating is the idea of comparing regimes from different galaxies."

(Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

"In his search for the truth, the young archaeologist Petrus unearths the stories of lives concealed, forgotten, biographies in which, true, there are no mass executions by firing squad, but many other things besides. A strange charm pervades this debut novel, combined with a sensitivity to the aftermath of totalitarian oppression."

(Der Spiegel)

"The novel does not exhaust itself in suspicion. Its ideal is not disclosure of the truth concealed behind current part-truths. Its ideal is the liberation of literature from the burden of historical proof. …Resolute, this debut leaves the climes of current realism behind it and peoples the startled health resort in the Carpathians with figures like those with whom Bohumil Hrabal once haunted socialist Prague: strange saints, virtuosi of provisory fortune and misfortune, inept lovers, modern wanderers from old fairytales and local legends, who pull along behind them anecdotes and fragments of their biographies like porous, faded, but still colourful trains."

(Süddeutsche Zeitung)

"Florian painfully and minutely analyses a society disfigured by dictatorship, while at the same time narrating, with a passion for language and storytelling, a fantastic and poetic story full of unusual, unforgettable characters. …He does not go in for bizarre scenarios, but rather for the human truth that conceals itself behind lies, shame and suspicion. Florian follows unpredictable communist everyday life like a field researcher and discovers behind all the madness not only unscrupulousness but also, unexpectedly, much tenderness."

(Frankfurter Rundschau)

"The framework is close to that of a detective story, at whose centre stand forensic methods. It might also be a psychological novel, which traces lives before and after the key year of 1989. Filip Florian scoffs at such yearning for exposé with a round dance of ever more fantastically burgeoning tales."


"With a punch line at the end of his book that I shall not give away here, the author shows in the most cunning way that fiction and lies can occasionally be truer than the – supposed – truth. With this astonishing novel, rich in points of view and ideas, full of imagination and humour… Florian also broadens the horizon of Romanian literature."


"Little Fingers is a wholly remarkable attempt not to reconcile the fields of the political and the aesthetic but to allow them to exist side by side, without having to bring forward any justification. Nevertheless, as a means of resistance, unfettered fantasising always maintains the upper hand."

(Die Tageszeitung)

"Filip Florian knows that the past can hold a society in its grip like a chronic, obstinate illness. His short, dense novel sets forth a picture of history from different voices, from as many small bones -- and it is only after such a process that healing is conceivable."

(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

"Florian weaves together several narratives in his debut novel, a strange story of war, death, alienation, politics and bizarre miracles told in brilliant prose."

(Publishers Weekly, USA)


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