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Radu Jörgensen

Biography

Radu Jörgensen (Radu Georgescu) was born in Jassy on 12 September 1962. He is a graduate of the Michael the Brave College in Bucharest, and has studied Geological Engineering and Geophysics at Bucharest University, Journalism at Göteborg University, and General Pedagogy and Mathematics at Växjö University (Sweden). In 2004, he gained an MSc in Mathematics at Birmingham University (Alabama, U.S.A.). His debut novel was Clovnul din lemn de gutui (The Quince-wood Clown, Editura Nemira, 1998). He is a contributor to 22, Expres, Phoenix, Tinerama, and Observator Cultural in Romania, and to Göteborgs Posten, IDag, VLT and Metro in Sweden. He was the director and set designer of a production of Look Back in Anger at the Studio Westmannia in Västerås. He has...

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Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Cartea romaneasca, 2011, 448 pages

Copyright: Cartea romaneasca

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

The year is 1990. Departing from the Gara de Nord in Bucharest, a young man arrives in Södertälje twenty-four hours later, having made three train journeys and two ferry crossings. An intellectual familiar with Dostoevsky, Márquez, O’Neill, Fellini, Bergman and Buñuel, it is the first time he has travelled farther than Romania’s western frontier, and now here he is alighting in a train station whose name has umlauts on two different vowels! And so the adventure begins.

“It is a Swedish novel, conceived and written in Romanian. Some characters wander the seafront of Stockholm and the cobbled streets of Uppsala, their minds on the chaos in Bucharest and the tank parked in front of the Romanian Academy, on the whims of the Bucharest newspapers, on the oil derricks of Dragasani, on the latest theatre productions in Craiova, on the university halls of residence in Cluj, and on the studio of Student Radio. Others dream of the dust of Algeria, the mountains of Kurdistan, and white nights in Leningrad. They are the immigrants. Romanians, but not only and not necessarily: to the Swedish authorities they are asylum seekers, cases, files; to Amnesty International and lawyers, they are victims, although many of them are set on possessing such a status. For the fair-haired Nordic majority of the 60th parallel, they are an unknown factor: exotic, promising, but also threatening. My novel is the story of such people. Harrowing, in places tragic, in places comic, as well as tragic-comic, it is also the story of their struggle to obtain a VISA.” (Radu Jörgensen)

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