Gabriela Adameşteanu [ Romania ]
Gabriela Adameşteanu was born in Târgu Ocna, Romania, in 1942. She studied Romanian Literature at the University of Bucharest and worked as an editor for publishers of literature and reference works from 1965 to 1989. In the late eighties she was close to dissidents and was supported by Radio Free Europe and in 1990 became a member of the Group for Social Dialogue (G.D.S.), the first Romanian NGO. Having trained as a journalist in Berlin, Vienna and Brussels, she ran »22« (1991-2005) a political, social, economic and cultural weekly edited by the G.D.S. As a member of »Women’s Edition« (1998-2001), an international team of editors organised by the Population Reference Bureau, she championed women's rights. For her commitment to the democratisation of Romania she was awarded the Hellmann Hammett Grant by Human Rights Watch (2002), and now manages a literary supplement, »Bucureştiul Cultural«. As President of the Romanian PEN Centre, she has been a writer in residency in the USA (Iowa City, 1990; Leding House, 2004) and France (Arles, 2000; Saint-Nazaire, 2004). In 2005 she was invited to the »Belles Etrangères« festival in France.
Adameşteanu's fiction has been awarded national prizes and reprinted many times. Her first novel, »Drumul egal al fiecărei zile« (1975; t: The equal way of everyday), describes daily life in the Sixties, alternating between the theme of a young girl's »éducation sentimentale« and success and failure in life. Some of the short stories in the collections »Dăruieşte-ţi o zi de vacantă« (1979; t: Give yourself a holiday) and »Vara-primavara« (t: »Summer-spring«, 1989), are concerned with the sense of hopelessness in the latter years of the Ceauşescu regime, and have been published in Russian, German, Austrian, Hungarian and Estonian anthologies. Her most well-known work, »Dimineaţa Pierdută« (1984; t: Wasted morning), provided the story for one of Romania's most successful plays and was staged by Catalina Buzoianu in the Teatrul Bulandra, Bucharest (1986). With a strong sense of the idiom and attitudes of different social classes and personalities, in this polyphonic novel Adameşteanu sets up a multi-perspective portrait of her country in the twentieth century, juxtaposing individual destinies and collective tragedy. The novel was published in Estonia and Bulgaria and fragments appeared in the magazines »Words without borders« and »Wespennest«. The French edition (2005) was short-listed for the Prix Union Latine (2006). Her latest novel, »Intâlnirea« (2003; t: The meeting), a poetic drama, focuses on an immigrant's difficulties in communicating with his home country, isolated from the world by years of dictatorship. In this the novel echoes Homer's Odyssey for modern times.
Apart from her literary production, Adameşteanu has translated French literary works (Maupassant, Bianciotti) and written journalistic pieces: »Obsesia politicii« (1995, t: The passion of politics) and »Cele două Românii« (2001; t: The two Romanias).
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