Gabriela Adamesteanu

novel, ”Fiction LDT” collection, Polirom Publishing House, 2004, 440 pages, 130x200 mm

Copyright: Gabriela Adamesteanu

Translation rights sold to: Gallimard/France, Europa/Hungary, Random House Mondadori/Spain, Nimrod Books/Israel, Balkani/Bulgaria, Northwestern U. P./USA, Dom Quixote/Portugal, Wydawnictwo W.A.B./Poland, Eesti Ramaat/Estonia, Yapi Kredi Kultur Sanat/Turkey

Book presentation

Wasted Morning was awarded a prize by the Romanian Writers’ Union and published in four editions (1984, 1992, 1998 and 2004). Given its public success, the book was the source of a memorable theatrical show as well, by stage director Cătălina Buzoianu at Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest (1987‑1990), which was subsequently broadcast on national television and the national public radio in Romania. After 1989 it was included in textbooks and curricula, it has been the subject of doctoral theses etc.

Éditions Gallimard published Wasted Morning (Matinée perdue), in 2005, which was welcomed by the critics in Le Monde des Lettres, Figaro Littéraire, L’Humanité Littéraire, Lire, and La Quinzaine Littéraire.

Wasted Morning was also published in Israel, Bulgaria, and Estonia, and it will be published in Hungary (Europa Publishing House) and Spain (Random House Mondadori) in 2009.

Wasted Morning is, doubtlessly, a painful symbol of a Romania sacrificed on the altar of two world wars and communism for one century. Although these sinister spectres obsess the author, she displays a sarabande of picturesque, highly vital style, in the oral style of Céline, re‑inventing the idiom of simple folk and discovering the poetry of the street, in a country where the wooden tongue had grown into a coffin of imagination : Vica, Gabriela Adameşteanu’s protagonist, is a free individual because she chats away like Céline’s character, Bardamu… She goes back to her adolescence, when her mother died and she had to raise her many siblings. Vica, the poor Cinderella who lost her way in a dependency of the Soviets, had to survive, with her legs planted on the stone of utter poverty. But this tireless gossiper knows how to listen to others too, so we have magnificent portraits of other characters such as Sophie Mironescu Ioaniu, depossessed by the communists, who gradually withers away in her apartment in Bucharest. Her daughter Ivona, a strange woman who roams around the city, her son‑in‑law Niki, who is always chasing after whores, her sister, Margot, shadowed by the Securitate... From one character to another, from WWI to Stalin’s time, from battlefield to prisons where political convicts are thrown to rot, history in a red and black cloak marches across this forever wasted morning. The novelist is not much more tender­‑hearted towards what she calls, with a degree of cruelty, national ‘vices.’” (Lire)


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