Radovan makes her debut with this probing, vividly written memoir, charged with the pain of loss and trauma inflicted by oppression. Beginning her story as a seven-year-old elementary school child, Radovan goes on to reflect on her family’s history in Romania under both Communist and post-Communist governance. Her early memories are linked to the Romanian Revolution of 1989 that took over the country, ultimately culminating in the show trial and execution of long-time President and his wife, and the end of 42 years of Communist rule in Romania. Radovan’s prose is lyrical as she draws an evocative portrait of her family’s history, shedding light on both her grandfather’s life as a political dissident who died shortly after being released from a Communist prison and her mother’s life in Romania under Communist rule and post-Communist power. Using terse poetry, imagery, social and political criticism, diary entries, photographs, and essays, Radovan moves fluidly around in time, touching on difficult memories. Radovan’s rich descriptions and frank voice make the reading an intimate experience, and her re-telling of her family history is haunting and filled with palpable emotion. This lyrical reminiscence of a family’s struggle to live in the in-betweens and dreaming themselves into more than mere survival beautifully delves into the legacy of Romania’s tortured past while examining intergenerational trauma in its many guises and forms. A fascinating work from a gifted storyteller.
Categories: Non Fiction