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Ioana Baetica Morpurgo

Biography

Ioana Baetica Morpurgo was born in 1980. She studied Literature at Bucharest University and then took an MA in Cultural Anthropology at SNSPA. She has researched the subject of the culture of transition in post-communist Romania at the University of Exeter, where she has also taught a seminar on Contemporary Society. She has published articles on literary and socio-cultural subjects in magazines including Romania Literara, Dilema Veche, Academia Catavencu, Observator cultural, New Internationalist, Contemporary Review, Lichtungen, Buchkultur. She has contributed essays and short prose to various anthologies: The Book of Grandparents (2007), The Review of Contemporary Fiction (2010), Erotographos 50+1 (2010), Best Of: Short Prose of the 2000s (2013), Stories about Women Writers and Mothers...

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Novel, EGO. PROSE series, Polirom, 2017, 406 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

Wounded in an ambush, Toma leaves the FOB Tagan-Kutschbach Special Operations Base in Afghanistan, where he has been attached to the Special Forces since 2009, and returns to his native village of Celei. A few months later, he is decorated by President Traian Basescu, but he feels the status of hero in the war against terrorism is incongruous with his personal situation: his wife has been having an affair with a policeman and has decided to run away to Italy with him; he is haunted by the memory of his friend who died on the frontline; the village is in the grip of paralysis. The symptoms of PTSD progressively take hold of Toma’s life. The only people he is really able to connect with are his seven-year-old son, a gypsy with whom he went to school, and his friend’s widow, with whom he starts having a purely sexual affair. Flashbacks from the war zone punctuate his everyday life, along with their antidote: memories of childhood. The first part of the H Trilogy, Shrapnel is a novel about violence, awareness, masculinity, memory, and time. It is a novel about institutional clichés, the psychology of crowds, the disintegration of personal identity. And a novel about survival.

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Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, "Ego. Prose" series, Polirom, 2011, 384 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

Five figures are projected against the polychromatic backdrop of modern London: Razvan, Maria, Traian, Sabina, and Gruia, each with his or her past and future. Their stories unfold in parallel, with the exception of the aleatory and fleeting moments when they intersect, albeit without consequence. A gay, left-wing PhD student, a second rate painter, a stockbroker, a woman looking after a dying old man, and a slightly autistic man living without official documents, they all have one thing in common: Romanian citizenship. In these five typical lives Ioana Baetica Morpurgo captures the alchemy of one of the most terrible human experiences, that of being uprooted.

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