Burying the Typewriter by Carmen Bugan
A Memoir

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Synopsis

One of the 7 books SHORTLISTED for the GEORGE ORWELL PRIZE for Political Writing, April 17, 2013 (UK)Winner of the Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction, a childhood memoir of political oppression and persecution during Romania's Ceausescu years Carmen Bugan grew up amid the bounty of the Romanian countryside on her grandparent's farm where food and laughter were plentiful. But eventually her father's behavior was too disturbing to ignore. He wept when listening to Radio Free Europe, hid pamphlets in sacks of dried beans, and mysteriously buried and reburied a typewriter. When she discovered he was a political dissident she became anxious for him to conform. However, with her mother in the hospital and her sister at boarding school, she was alone, and helpless to stop him from driving off on one last, desperate protest.
After her father's subsequent imprisonment, Bugan was shunned by her peers at school and informed on by her neighbors. She candidly struggled with the tensions of loving her "hero" father who caused the family so much pain. When he returned from prison and the family was put under house arrest, the Bugans were forced to chart a new course for the future. A warm and intelligent debut, Burying the Typewriter provides a poignant reminder of a dramatic moment in Eastern European history.
 

About Carmen Bugan

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Carmen Bugan is the author of the collection of poetry Crossing the Carpathians. Her work has been published in Harvard Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and Modern Poetry in Translation.
 
Published July 3, 2012 by Graywolf Press. 256 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Bugan’s mother, whom the state ordered to divorce her husband, “always fought with him about…his selfishness to think that it’s all right to sacrifice his family for a pointless political ideal.” Is it “pointless” and “selfish” to show resistance in the face of dehumanizing totalitarianism?

Apr 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

Publishers Weekly

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for example, she compares keening for the loss of a loved one to poems, the best of which “pause on the sob in your throat, weeping both for what is beautiful and for what is lost to darkness and evil.” But as with the pickled watermelon she mentions eating at holiday time, the sweet moments ...

May 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

Star Tribune

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Carmen Bugan's lush and sensuous memories of growing up are countered by a sharp sense of loss and unhappiness when her father is arrested and the family loses its home. Winner of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction.

Jul 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

The Telegraph

When the teenage Carmen Bugan and her family fled Romania for political asylum in the United States in 1988, an officer of the Securitate on the outbound train confiscated the budding writer’s poetry journal.

Aug 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

The Boston Globe

The market’s high of 14,254 after a 126-point gain is another sign the US economy is healing after the worst recession since the 1930s.

Aug 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

Scotsman.com

‘SOMETIMES it takes sacrificing a family for a country.” That’s what Carmen Bugan’s father told her on his release from prison where he had been incarcerated in the 1980s for protesting against the totalitarian regime in Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania.

Jun 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

Portland Book Review

Burying the Typewriter looks at the story of Carmen Bugan, whose family was persecuted because the father decided to do something about Romanian communists.

Nov 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

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However, with her mother in the hospital and her sister at boarding school, she was alone, and helpless to stop him from driving off on one last, desperate protest. After her father's subsequent imprisonment, Bugan was shunned by her peers at school and informed on by her ne...

Jul 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Burying the Typewriter: A Memoir

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