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Tatiana Niculescu Bran

Biography

Tatiana Niculescu Bran studied Literature at the University of Bucharest and is a graduate of the European Institute of Journalism in Brussels. Between 1994 and 2004 she worked as an editor in the Romanian Section of the BBC World Service in London. Between 2004 and 2008 she ran the BBC World Service bureau in Bucharest. In 2006 she published the first non fiction novel in Romanian, Confession at Tanacu, followed by The Book of Judges in 2007. The author has adapted the two novels for the stage. Confession at Tanacu, directed by Andrei Serban, premiered in New York in 2007. Confession at Tanacu and its sequel, The Book of Judges, inspired the film Beyond the Hills, directed by Cristian Mungiu, which won two prizes at the Cannes Festival in 2012. In 2010 Liternet published her play...

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Excerpt from

Novel, Ego. Prose series, Polirom, 2013, 224 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

On 15 June 2005, Vaslui Police was informed that an ambulance carrying the dead body of a nun had arrived at the County Hospital. The Police began an investigation at the monastery in the village of Tanacu. Castigated by public opinion and hounded by the newspapers, a priest and four nuns were hauled in front of a court. The Book of Judges is the story of that trial and reconstructs the Tanacu criminal investigation, a complicated, notorious case in Romania, which Tatiana Niculescu Bran describes based on her own investigations, as an extension of the novel Confession in Tanacu. At the same time it is a fictional reconstruction of a religious milieu stalked by fear and guilt. The fundamental question asked by the book is: how is justice to be done?


The two novels the author has dedicated to this subject, Confession in Tanacu and The Book of Judges, inspired the film Beyond the Hills, directed by Cristian Mungiu, which won two awards at the Cannes Festival in 2012.

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Excerpt from

Novel, "Ego. Proza" series, Polirom, 2012, 216 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: Hacca (Italy)

Book presentation

 Irina and her retarded brother Vasile have spent their childhood in a state orphanage, subjected to systematic abuse. They visit Irina’s best friend and teenage lover, the nun Kitza, in a remote convent in rural Romania before Irina’s final emigration to Germany. Kitza encourages Irina to confess her earlier experiences of paedophilia, beatings and masturbation to Father Daniel, the young, ambitious, anti-Western priest who runs the convent. She suffers a violent fit and is taken from one hospital to another, until a psychiatrist and self-appointed ‘mystic’ diagnoses schizophrenia and treats her with the harshest chemicals. Returning to the convent, Irina seems to be feel better. Accompanied by two nuns, she pays a visit to her foster family in Banat and discovers they have confiscated her savings an already replaced her with another abandoned girl. Back to the monastery she is confused when she must atone for her sins in a further confession. A guidance booklet listing two hundred sins plunges her into renewed mental turmoil, leading to a second fit characterised by extreme aggressiveness. Father Daniel, believing her to be demonised, has her tied to a makeshift stretcher in the shape of a cross and conducts a ritual exorcism.

 

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Critics about

Novel, "Ego. Prose" series, Polirom, 2011, 240 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

He is ninety-two, has a controversial past, and is suffering from prostate problems. He lives in a palace, where he is waited upon like a Byzantine emperor. His nights are haunted by illness and memories of a life dedicated to the Church and the political powers of the day, from the Iron Guard to the Communists. His days are dominated by the urgent matter of settling who will succeed him on the throne of the Patriarchate of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Canny and wily, the old man knows he is surrounded by unscrupulous individuals ready to usurp him at any time. He can number his trusted friends on the fingers of one hand. The younger men in his entourage despise his political compromises, while those with the real power mislead him, allowing him to believe he is the master of his own decisions. The tentacles of power hold him in their clutches up to death’s door and even beyond. Will the Patriarch succeed in thwarting his rivals’ plans?


The Nights of the Patriarch
is a fascinating novel not only because of its highly sensitive subject matter, namely the links between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the country’s current rulers, including members of the former communist regime, but also its powerful portrayal of the Patriarch, which creates a character unique in Romanian literature.

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Excerpt from

Novel, Ego. Prose series, Polirom, 2012, 248 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

André is ten and has come to spend his holiday with his father, a French diplomat in the Horn of Africa. The boy discovers a fairy-tale world: on one hand, the army fighting the Somali pirates, on the other, the ancient race of the Afars. He befriends an Afar girl, Hani, who is going to be put through a forbidden ritual, inherited from the Egyptian Pharaohs. While the children re-enact scenes from Star Wars and find their first love, around them reality takes a brutal turn: the Arab revolution is about to begin, the girl is taken to a forest where she will be subjected to the ritual genital excision, and André is sent back to France on a military plane.

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