Bogdan- ALEXANDRU Stanescu
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BOGDAN- ALEXANDRU STANESCU (1979), has been the editor of prestigious literary translation collection Biblioteca Polirom for the last 12 years. He is a book reviewer for major Romanian publications, the founder and president of the independent international literary festival in Bucharest, FILB, and author of four books, 2 collections of essays (What separates us together with the Moldavian writer Vasile Ernu; Enter Ghost. Imaginary letters to Osip Mandelshtam), 2 poetry books (After the battle we stopped to catch our breath and anaBASis), and contributor to five anthologies of short stories. He is also the translator of Tennessee Williams, James Joyce, Sandra Newman, Alberto Manguel, Edward Hirsch, William Faulkner, Paul Auster and Daniel Mendelsohn. Bogdan Stanescu won the Best Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015. He has a PhD in Romanian literature and teaches a seminar at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Letters and creative writing.

THE CHILDHOOD OF KASPAR HAUSER (Copilaria lui Kaspar Hauser)




Laureate of the festival du premier roman de chambery



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‘The Childhood of Kaspar Hauser is the place where the Bret Easton Ellis of Lunar Park miraculously meets Nabokov.’ România literară

’This is the novel of a sacrificed generation, that of the transition from communism to democracy, and is also one of the first novels dedicated to Bucharest after the Revolution.’ Observatorul cultural

‘Bogdan Stanescu is one of the most talented writers of the new literary generation in his country. Author of excellent books of poetry, prose and criticism he represents the best of the new post-communist spiritual climate in today’s Eastern Europe.  

His Kaspar Hauser (nicknamed "Bobitza" - 'berry') confronts a difficult childhood and adolescence in the periphery of Bucharest, among a broken family, a group of violent companions, young, brutal outsiders and his own confused solitude. In the second part of this ambitious novel (made of connected short and longer stories) we find him in a lucid transition towards a sceptical but still reasonable maturity,finally ready to accept his part in the tense and often traumatic pressure of our time. The brilliant modulations and potential of a dynamic, often picturesque style adds vitality, charm and mystery to the narrative.

A subtle and profound coming of age book, astute and colourful, written with passion and intelligence, highly significant for the current disturbing and often overwhelming time of re-evaluations and change.’
NORMAN MANEA, author, professor at Bard

Written from the double perspective of the child/teenager and the adult, THE CHILDHOOD OF KASPAR HAUSER is a coming-of-age novel as well as a novel about the degradation of a human being (the narrator) under the constant erosion of a complicated family life (involving the absence of his real father, the presence of successive step fathers) and that of the general chaos of Romania of the 80s and the 90s. The child starts telling the story with a very straightforward and sane voice, capturing sensations and images and trying to put them together into a coherent image of reality, but grows into a jaded human being, an alcoholic adult, lost in a seductive but shallow world. It is a puzzle-novel, a novel of stories, and an attempt to describe one of the darkest moments in recent Romanian history. The novel has gathered wide critical acclaim in Romania and has been reprinted three times in only four months.


Polirom Romania

Fraktura Croatia

Editions Phébus France

Material: Romanian edition (250pp); English, French and German sample chapters