The Romanian

The Romanian

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Winner of the 2004 Prix de Florea€”one of France's most distinguished literary prizesa€”a wildly romantic, true-life love story a€œHistory follows a trail of sputtering desire, often calling upon the delusions of lovers to generate the sparks. If it werena€™t for us, the world would suffer from a dismal lack of stories, q writes Bruce Benderson in this brutally candid memoir. a€œWhat astonishes and intrigues is Bendersona€™s way of recounting, in the sweetest possible voice, things that are considered shocking, a€ wrote Le Monde. Whata€™s so shocking? Ita€™s not just Bendersona€™s job translating CAcline Diona€™s saccharine autobiography, which he admits is driving him mad; but his unrequited love for an impoverished Romanian in a€œcheap club-kid platforms with dollar signs in his squinting eyes, a€ whom he meets while on a journalism assignment in Eastern Europe. Rather than retreat, Benderson absorbs everything he can about Romanian culture and discovers an uncanny similarity between his own obsession for the Romanian (named Romulus) and the disastrous love affair of King Carol II, the last king of Romania (1893-1953). Throughout, Bendersona€”a€œabsolutely free of bitterness, nastiness, or any desire to protect himself, a€ wrote Le Mondea€”is sustained by little white codeine pills, a poetic self-awareness, a sense of humor, and an unwavering belief in the perfect romance, even as wild dogs chase him down Romanian streets.The money was good, but she detested it and got tired of serving those a€œmidgetsa€ steamed towels and bowing to them. ... The $40, 000 she brought back is quite a lot of money to have in Romania. ... a€œShe say you look like politician, a€ he says.

Title:The Romanian
Author:Bruce Benderson
Publisher:Penguin - 2006-02-02


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