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polirom

About us

 

A. POLIROM PUBLISHING HOUSE
B. CARTEA ROMÂNEASCĂ PUBLISHING HOUSE
C. CONTEMPORARY ROMANIAN LITERATURE – A BIRD’S EYE VIEW

A. POLIROM PUBLISHING HOUSE

Founded in February 1995 in Iaşi, POLIROM is a joint-stock company, one of the most important publishing houses in Romania – over 1,000 titles, amounting to 6,550,000 copies so far.

The turnover for 2007 was approximately 6 million euros. As regards the production and the book sale, Polirom Publishing House was the leader between 2005 and 2006 (according to Capital magazine).

The editorial profile of Polirom Publishing House includes not only fiction (Romanian and universal literature – 35%), but also nonfiction (65%). The 3,500 titles published so far (580 in 2007) cover 45 editorial fields (literature, essay, journals, letters, philosophy, history, religion, psychology, sociology, politology, pedagogy, social assistance, gender studies, media, public relations, law, foreign languages, informatics, education, economy and business, medicine, health, practical knowledge, etc.) and more than 60 collections and series.

Numerous awards received from the Romanian Editors Association, Romanian Writers Union, ASPRO (Romanian Professional Writers Association), The Romanian Academy, the magazines România literară (Literary Romania), Cuvântul (The Word), Capital, Sfera politicii (Political Sphere), CEDU 2000+ etc.

General director: Silviu Lupescu

Main office: Iaşi, 4 Carol I Boulevard, 4th floor, P.O. BOX 266. Tel.: 0232.214.100, 0232.214.111. Fax: 0232.214.111, office@polirom.ro


B. CARTEA ROMÂNEASCĂ PUBLISHING HOUSE

Founded in 1919, Cartea Românească Publishing House is the oldest brand on the Romanian book market. Its motto was: “Promoting Romanian writing.” Disbanded in 1948 during the first communist “purges”, Cartea Românească was brought again into existence in 1970, as the publishing house of the Romanian Writers Union, under Marin Preda’s administration and literary patronage; he remained its director until his premature death, in 1980. Before 1989 it dominated the Romanian cultural market, issuing over 5,000 titles amounting to more than 10 million copies. The novelist George Bălăiţă and Magdalena Popescu Bedrosian were in turn directors of the publishing house, followed by literary critic Dan Cristea, between 1996-2005. All the significant writers had their works published here, from Marin Preda and Nicolae Breban to Ştefan Agopian and Mircea Cărtărescu.

In May 2005, Cartea Românească has been taken over, in administration, by Polirom Publishing House. In June, same year, a board of directors was appointed, including Nicolae Manolescu, Mircea Mihăieş and Silviu Lupescu.

Cartea Românească Publishing House follows two editorial directions: publishing works of well-known Romanian writers and promoting young authors. Each year, it organizes debut contests, in search of new authors. Developing the editorial market by offering new products is another aim of this publishing house.

Our fundamental values are tradition, dynamism and the relationship with the reader. And our purpose remains the same as in 1919: “Promoting Romanian writing”.


C. CONTEMPORARY ROMANIAN LITERATURE – A BIRD’S EYE VIEW

”Thanks to the combined efforts of two publishers, Polirom and Cartea Românească, literature in Romania today is much more than just a row of books on a shelf or a salon pastime. Contemporary literature is alive, is read with interest, stirs public debate, and creates currents of feeling and opinion. What is certain is that in Romania it is no longer possible to write or read literature in the same way as fifteen years ago. Not only the more intense rhythm of life but also a vital connection to the realities of the day oblige contemporary writers to problematise the world around them, from the political baggage of their personal memory to the miracles of everyday life, from sub‑humanity to postmodernism. More recently, it has also been literature that has succeeded in imprinting an image of Romania’s identity abroad. The national and international prizes won by Romanian authors, the numerous book fairs at which Polirom and Cartea Românească have taken part (Frankfurt, Leipzig, Lille, Zurich, Basle, Berne), and also numerous publications abroad, whether already in print or in press, have confirmed not only individual authors but also an entire literary wave. (Doris Mironescu)

 

”Besides this appealing diversity, the indisputable worth of the writers included in Polirom and Cartea Românească’s catalogues ought to make us confident, even optimistic, as to the response our literature deserves to produce abroad, a literature which for far too long was written exclusively by poets and critics, and was thus inevitably relegated to a minor status, that of a restricted, local, mimetic phenomenon. It is something well known, something always repeated as a wearisome reproach, that since the beginnings of our timid synchronisation with the West, prose (or the novel, to be more precise) has been our sole chance, the only form of expression whereby we have been capable of stirring the interest of foreign audiences in lands with high cultural pedigrees. And whereas in the past we have diligently imitated, so as to keep in step and not embarrass ourselves, today we are exporting our own literary products of the finest quality.” (Antonio Patraş)

 


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