Doina Rusti

Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, "Ego Prose" series, Polirom, 2008, 432 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: Hacca (Italy)

Critics about

“The product of a powerful original prose writer, a rara avis in post communist Romanian literature, The Ghost in the Mill is not only a first-rate literary event of the current year, but also one of the most convincingly poignant works of fiction addressing the topic of local communism to be published during the last decade."


"The Ghost in the Mill is an imaginative novel, in line with autobiographical fiction, in which magic realism and daily realism intertwine. [...] This mill, which is an axis mundi, the center, the hearth and the obsession of the village, where the character has no clue if he has met the angel or the devil, this mill is the place where a murder occurs, as at the dawn of all worlds: a certain Max, an epileptic, is killed by mistake [...] and everybody is obliged to keep silent, thus becoming accomplices in the murder. We have all been accomplices in what has defined and punished us. This is the parable of communism. A novel with substance, a sinewy prose which, I repeat, equals a part or several parts of Cărtărescu's Orbitor”.


"Doina Ruşti has the vocation of a builder constructor, the capacity to build a meaningful narrative and exuberant imagination. If asked to recommend certain characters, pages or sequences from the second part of The Ghost in the Mill, I wouldn't know which to mention first, because almost all of them are remarkable. There is no doubt that it would be far too less if I only mentioned Săndina, the old cooperative worker, that lurks around the deserted mill and writes, without anybody suspecting her, informative notes for the Secret Police, the grotesque Gabriel Neicuşoru, the unctuos physicist from the Phenomena Institute, or the terrifying scene where the mill is demolished."


"The characters drawn by Doina Rusti are incredibly genuine: the author has the rare gift of seeing things both in a synthetical and a contingent way, including detail within the portrait. The core of the novel is the second part: The Mill, being slightly over 200 pages and exceptional. It is this time-space condensed sequence that reveals the great qualities of the author; these are the narrative construction and the capacity to suggest the texture (substance) of a certain humanity."


"Doina Rusti joins the elite of our still youthful prose writers with her third novel, both ambitious and masterful. (...) The second part, the longest one (of The Ghost in the Mill) is read and assimilated with higher difficulty, as the description is a little too detailed, almost journalistic. But it is worth reading. The whole construction is remarkable: the epic matter, both dense and fluid, typologically diversified and symbolically rearticulated; the varying rhythm, alert or slow, of the narrative; the clever assemblage and great control. And above everything, an obvious artistic maturity."



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