Doina Jela is a journalist, editor, translator and writer. She oversaw the Humanitas publishing house’s “Communism on Trial” series and Curtea Veche Publishing’s “Current” series. She founded the Romanian Association of Independent Journalists, the Romanian branch of the Association of European Journalists, based in Brussels. She has contributed to numerous collections of essays : The Hunter of Enigmas (1993), The Sighet Annals (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002), How Was It ? Rather like This… (2006), The Book of Grandparents (2007), and The Thirty Days War (2007). Her books include : The Nichita Dumitru Case: An Attempt to Reconstruct a Communist Trial (1995), This Love That Binds Us: Reconstruction of an Assassination (1998,...
Novel, Fiction LTD series, Polirom, 2015, 536 pages
When Doina Jela decides to write a “liberation diary,” Rafael makes his appearance amid the chaos and confusion of the publishing house where she works. He is an old acquaintance of hers, and gives her a mysterious manuscript with a view to publishing it. As she reads it, in order to write a reader’s report, the pages of her diary become interwoven with Relu Rafaelu’s manuscript, and what had originally been both a personal and a work obligation now becomes a challenge, as she discovers not only that the characters are real but also that she knows them. Vlad Cernescu, Letitia, Ioana, Valeria and Rafael are brought together when they are assigned as teachers to a lyceum in a village on the bank of the Danube, not long before the Revolution. Their stories intersect, unsuspected connections come to light, and personal histories extend into the present, blending with the wider history of the last quarter of a century, and centring on the Villa Margareta, a place of fierce passions, but also bitter disappointments. In Doina Jela’s novel, fiction and reality merge to form a moving and disturbing story.