Biography

Lucian Dan TEODOROVICI (b. 1975) is the co-ordinator of Polirom’s “Ego. Prose” series, and senior editor of the Suplimentul de cultură weekly. Between 2002 and 2006, he was editor-in-chief at the Polirom Publishing House, Jassy.

He has contributed prose, drama, and articles to various cultural magazines in Romania and abroad, including Suplimentul de cultură, Timpul, Dilema veche, Dilemateca, Observator cultural, Familia, Orizont, Evenimentul zilei, Cotidianul, Ziarul de duminică, Esquire Romania, or Au sud de l’Est (Paris), Transcript (London), Lampa (Warsaw), Magyar Lettre Internationale (Budapest), The Guardian (London), Absinthe: New European Writing (U.S.A) etc.

Between 2005 and 2008 (7 seasons) he was a scriptwriter for the Animat Planet Show, broadcast by the Antena 1 television channel in Romania, and has written screenplays for the feature-length film adaptations of Our Circus Presents:, I’m a Communist Biddy and Lindenfeld, and the short films Chocolates, A Good Day and Goose Chase, which were financed by the Romanian National Centre of Cinematography.

Published volumes:

Cu puţin timp înaintea coborîrii extratereştrilor printre noi (Shortly before the Extraterrestrials Descended Among us), novel, Iaşi: OuTopos, 1999 (2nd revised and expanded edition, Iaşi: Polirom, 2005);

Lumea văzută printr-o gaură de mărimea unei ţigări marijuana (The World Seen through a Hole the Width of a Spliff), short stories,  Tîrgu-Jiu: Constantin Brâncuşi Foundation Press, 2000;

Circul nostru vă prezintă: (Our Circus Presents:), novel, Iaşi: Polirom, 2002 (2nd revised edition, Iaşi: Polirom, 2007);

Atunci i-am ars două palme (Then I Clouted Him Twice), short stories, Iaşi: Polirom, 2004;

Celelalte poveşti de dragoste (The Other Love Stories), novel, Iaşi: Polirom, 2009;

Matei Brunul (Matei the Brown), novel, Iaşi: Polirom, 2011 (“National Award for Prose” – “Observator cultural” magazine; “National Award for Prose” – “Ziarul de Iasi” newspaper; “Book of the Year 2011” – “Contrafort” magazine; “The Public Prize” – Romanian Book Market Awards; “Novel of the Year 2011” – “Augustin Frățilă” Literary Award)

Translations:

The collection of short stories Then I Clouted Him Twice has been published in Germany (Pop Verlag, Ludwigsburg, 2009).

The novel Our Circus Presents: has been published in U.S.A. (Dalkey Archive Press, Urbana-Champaign, 2009), Hungary (Cirkuszunk bemutatja:, L’Harmattan Kiadó, Budapest, 2009), Italy (Aisara Edizioni, Cagliari), Spain (El Nadir, Valencia), and is due to be published in Bulgaria (Paradox Publishing, Sofia) and Egypt (Golden Pony Publishing, Cairo).

The Other Love Stories has been published in Italy (Aisara Edizioni, 2011), and is due to be published in Bulgaria (Paradox Publishing).

The novel Matei the Brown is due to be published in France (Gaia Editions/Actes Sud), Bulgaria (Paradox Publishing) and Hungary (Libri Kiado).

Critics about:

Brandon Wicks in “Raleigh’s Metro Magazine” (the literary blog)

“While the best of these unconventional pieces can prove either enjoyable in the moment or provocative upon prolonged reflection, the most completely satisfying stories of the collection ultimately have a more traditional sensibility, inviting the reader in with their attention to character and conflict. Luckily, such works are well represented. Lucian Dan Teodorovici’s coming of age tale Goose Chase follows a small child who, by his grandfather’s side, finds himself confronted by class disparity and otherness within a gypsy camp; Ingo Schulze’s beautifully paced Oranges and Angel slowly immerses the reader in tone and voice for a delicate examination of character and family; Hotel by the Railroad, by Frode Grytten, is a quietly uncomfortable postmortem of a dying marriage, attenuated by the husband’s habit of tailing young women in public. (…)”

[about Goose Chase (in Best European Fiction 2011, ed. by Aleksandar Hemon)]

Larry Rohter in “The New York Times”, December 29, 2010

“Some of the most vigorous writing in the collection comes from countries that 20 years ago were just emerging from decades of Communist rule, with all the stifling impact on free expression that implies. Little-known writers from Moldova, Lithuania, Belarus, Georgia, Slovenia and Romania weigh in with stories that range in tone from hilariously grotesque (the Georgian Zurab Leshava’s Sex for Fridge) to nightmarishly Orwellian (the Belarussian Victor Martinovich’s Taboo), but all favor a strong narrative over the postmodern game playing popular farther west.
Lucian Dan Teodorovici’s Goose Chase, the Romanian selection, is especially subtle and evocative, portraying the moral rot of the Ceausescu era without ever mentioning that dictator’s name or even Communism. A boy living in a poor village accompanies his grandfather to a Gypsy neighborhood on a mission to recover a flock of geese stolen from them, and while there is exposed to more than his grandfather is willing for him to see.”

[about Goose Chase (in Best European Fiction 2011, ed. by Aleksandar Hemon)]

“Library Journal”, November 15, 2010

“In only its second year, this series has become one of the most vital literary anthologies around. A whole new group of authors, introduced by editor Hemon and Irish novelist Colum McCann, is on hand to ‘draw the border line, then step beyond it.’ (…) Highlights for 2011 include a darkly comic clash of cultures by Lucian Dan Teodorovici of Romania, the musings of a Soviet female clown by Anita Konkka of Finland, a literary mystery set in an army barracks by Drago Jancar of Slovenia, and explorative feminist fiction by Verena Stefan of Switzerland.”

[about Goose Chase (in Best European Fiction 2011, ed. by Aleksandar Hemon)]

Damian Kelleher, on www.damiankelleher.com, January 6, 2011

Chewing Gum follows the narrator as he descends into a kind of farcical madness following the suggestion of his hoped-to-be mistress that he eat some chewing gum before they have sex. Yes, it’s enough to tip him over from depression into insanity, and even better, it’s a lot of fun to experience. Teodorovici’s story is sharp, funny, and handily skirts absurdity. Well recommended.”

[about Chewing Gum (in Absinthe: New European WritingIssue 13: Spotlight on Romania, 2010]

“BookTrust”, 2010

“The Birdman, our narrator, climbs out on to his window ledge every single day to test himself, to see if he can manage to kill himself, and yet he never does. The Birdman belongs to a strange circus of failed suicides, each member pursuing an absurd way to end it. One saves up lost-dog reward money to buy enough whisky to drink himself to death. Another sleeps with as many women as he can hoping to contract a fatal disease. He only manages to catch curable venereal diseases. Thus it is their inability to brave the conviction to die that sparks a lot of the black humour.

A chance encounter with another failed suicide that leads to an actual death sends the Birdman into a crisis, forcing him to confront his desire to disappear completely and his inability to have a serious go at ending it all forever. His passiveness and willingness to allow things to happen to him result in a series of unfortunate incidents from which he must emerge, a series of theologising and philosophising about death and in the end all there is is the crushing realisation that death involves actually dying. A novel of black humour, absurd, self-referential irony, and great sadness from Romanian author Lucian Dan Teodorovici.”

[about Our Circus Presents…, novel, Dalkey Archive Press, 2009]