Wasted Morning by Gabriela Adamesteanu, translated by Patrick Camiller

This novel became a word-of-mouth smash hit when it was published in 1983, and very soon was out of print because it was deemed a ‘revisionist’ view of history (i.e. not corresponding to Communist propaganda). It is a family saga spanning most of the 20th Century in Romania, including touchy subjects such as the nationalisation of property, ‘bourgeois’ political prisoners and family members who fled to the West. The main theme of the novel is lost illusions, which of course was inadmissible at the time – yet, in spite of that, the novel was adapted for the stage in 1986 and for four years it performed to sold-out audiences.

Published by Northwestern University Press, 2011. Extract published in Words Without Borders, Oct 2004