I’m the neurotic product of a childhood spent among the ruins of Ceausescu’s Bucharest and that’s why, vacillating between petty fears and some naïve happiness, between the nostalgia of what was at that time a personal paradise and the horror of what I might have turned into but didn’t as time went by, I’ve chosen the shortest
Cecilia Stefanescu (b. 1975) as an undergraduate studied Literature at Bucharest University, where she later also took a Master of Arts Degree in the Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature. She made her debut with the novel Love Sick, which has been published in two editions (the 1st by Paralela 45 in 2002, the 2nd by Polirom in 2006). The novel has been translated into French...
Novel, "Ego Prose" series, Polirom, 2008, 315 pages
The protagonist of Sun Alley, an exceptionally intelligent twelve-year-old boy, who is experiencing first love. One summer afternoon, on his way to see his girlfriend Emi, he is caught in a rain shower and shelters in the hallway of a block of flats. Led by a strong odour, he goes down into the basement, where he comes upon the corpse of a young and very beautiful woman. Little by little, Sal will attempt to discover the mystery of this dead body and, at the same time, will advance in his amorous relationship with Emi, a strange liaison which unfolds in parallel with the adulterous affair of a grown-up couple whose path Sal repeatedly crosses. As the love story with Emi evolves, Sal tries with all his might to hide it not only from the ironic eyes of his friends in the neighbourhood, but also from his parents – whose decisions might shatter their minor idyll – thereby developing a veritable adulterous mindset, which can also be observed, in practical terms, in the adult couple. The connexions between adults and the two children on the one hand, and the dead body discovered by Sal on the other, are much deeper and more complicated than they at first seem. Sun Alley is a novel about the roots of adultery and about the destiny of an exceptional young boy who, thanks to his gifts, has the power to see his own future with his mind’s eye.
Novel, "Ego Prose" series, Polirom, 2006, 192 pages
Love Sick is a novel about love and growing up. Kiki, the narrator, is a girl of eighteen, a “professional” seductress, an exuberant depressive with an uncertain past, which she reconstructs from memories and phantasms. Through her voice, in an unreliable discourse, we discover the love story between her and her fellow student Alexandra, a girl from the provinces. The liaison between the two girls, as Kiki relates it, takes place in the Bucharest of the 90s, a dusty city, which at every step reveals the scars of the past, but also the emancipation of a continually changing present. The labyrinthine city eventually merges with their complicated and equivocal relationship. The two girls explore the city and surrender themselves to the will of chance, concealing themselves behind the screen of a motley student world, tolerant by definition. Kiki, although in love with Alex, is unable to keep her by her side. For Kiki, an amorous liaison with Alex represents more of an experiment, while Alex, a well-behaved provincial girl, but at the same time curious and steadfast, has plans for the future, dreams of marriage and a family. Their liaison is interrupted by transient masculine figures, which does not prevent the girls from returning obsessively to one another. Kiki, as time and separations pass, but also as reconciliations become all the more frequent, begins to realise their inability to confess their love and assume it to the very end. This, but also the fact that their liaison becomes ever more malingering, leads both girls to sentimental failure.