Nostalgia by Mircea Cartarescu
(New Directions Paperbook)

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The astonishing debut in English of one of Romania's foremost writers.

Mircea Cartarescu, born in 1956, is one of Romania's leading novelists and poets. This translation of his 1989 novel Nostalgia, writes Andrei Codrescu, "introduces to English a writer who has always had a place reserved for him in a constellation that includes the Brothers Grimm, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Bruno Schulz, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Milan Kundera, and Milorad Pavic, to mention just a few." Like most of his literary contemporaries of the avant-garde Eighties Generation, his major work has been translated into several European languages, with the notable exception, until now, of English.

Readers opening the pages of Nostalgia should brace themselves for a verbal tidal wave of the imagination that will wash away previous ideas of what a novel is or ought to be. Although each of its five chapters is separate and stands alone, a thematic, even mesmeric harmony finds itself in children's games, the music of the spheres, humankind's primordial myth-making, the origins of the universe, and in the dilapidated tenement blocks of an apocalyptic Bucharest during the years of communist dictatorship.

About Mircea Cartarescu

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Semilian is a poet, translator, novelist, and filmmaker. He presently teaches film editing at the North Carolina School of the Arts, after a twenty-four year career as a film editor in Hollywood where he has worked on more than 50 movies and TV shows.
Published November 29, 2005 by New Directions. 352 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“Mentardy” is a short tale about a gang of Bucharest street kids whose lives are disrupted by the appearance of a “wise child.” The first novella, “The Twins,” features high-school seniors Andrei and Gina, who “felt like twins…inside a hallucinatory uterus without exit.” In this inaccessible expl...

Oct 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Nostalgia (New Directions Pap...

Publishers Weekly

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The first story involves a roulette player who survives against astonishing odds and a narrator who admits the roulette player could not have existed, but did, because "there is a place in the world where the impossible is possible, namely in fiction, that is, literature."

Oct 03 2005 | Read Full Review of Nostalgia (New Directions Pap...

New Haven Review

In “REM,” the longest section of the book’s middle, also titled “Nostalgia” (composed of three sections set between “The Roulette Player” prologue — said to be written by the grown protagonist of “The Twins” — and “The Architect” epilogue), a girl is sent to the outskirts of town, where she is ta...

Jun 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Nostalgia (New Directions Pap...

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