#RivetingReviews: November 2021. Romanian Special – Introduction by West Camel

Welcome to November’s Riveting Reviews. 

To celebrate this month’s Romania Rocks 2 – the Romanian Cultural Institute’s Romanian-British literary festival, organised in cooperation with the European Literature Network – our reviews this month are all of books from and about Romania. And we’re going Big and Important – because we have some Big and Important books and writers to discuss. 

Riveting Reviews stalwart, Max Easterman, opens proceedings with his review of a history of modern Romania by Paul Kenyon. We then welcome a new reviewer, theatre writer Lily Levinson, who takes on an anthology of plays that span Romania’s late-communist and post-communist eras. We also have an exclusive extract from the collection, kindly provided by publisher Bloomsbury and translator Jozefina Komporaly. 

Another ELNet stalwart (we have several), Anna Blasiak, takes on someone and something Big and Important in poetry: Ana Blandiana’s collection of collections, Five Books. Anna also reviews a collection from Ion Cristofor.

We’re delighted to welcome to Riveting Reviews author Vesna Goldsworthy, who’s previously written for The Romanian Riveter: she reviews the Big and Important Nostalgia by Mircea Cărtărescu.

Paul Burke is back with his review of Matéi Visniec’s Mr K Released, while Lizzy Siddal covers our Romanian crime slot with her review of Bogdan Hrib’s Resilience.

Alice Banks takes a break from her usual Spanish fare to try a short story collection by Ludovic Bruckstein, while I enjoy Mihail Sebastian’s 1935 paean to adolescence.

Rounding things off is something Big and Important, and completely new to Riveting Reviews: a recipe book. My deputy reviews editor, Rosie Eyre, is also a keen cook, and has not only read a book of Carpathian recipes, but cooked a few of them too

I think we’re giving you a good thick slice of Romanian culture, history and literature in these reviews. Enjoy, and if you want to buy any of the books, please do so through our devoted Bookshop.org page.

We’re back to general reviews next month, recommending what you should read over the festive break. Until then…

—West Camel

Category: November 2021 – Romania

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