Selected for "Readers of Europe" reading list (Summer 2020)
"At the centre of 'Wasted Morning' is Vica Delcă, a poor, simple woman in her seventies and a born storyteller who chats and gossips tirelessly. Vica has endured the endless series of trials and tribulations that were Romanian history from World War I to the late 20th century. Having worked her way up from humble beginnings, Vica is thrown back into a life of poverty with the arrival of communism after World War II.
Through Vica's interactions with the vivid and varied characters in this polyphonic novel, a tapestry of different points of view emerges, each of them decisively, often tragically, limited. The fortunes of the various strata of Romanian society – political, economic, social – shift violently.
Adameșteanu writes with a powerful combination of sympathy for her characters and clear-eyed awareness of their complicity in the calamities that befall them and their country. From Bucharest's aspiration to become the Paris of Eastern Europe to the darkest days of dictatorship, 'Wasted Morning' presents a sweeping vision of the personal and collective costs of a turbulent century.
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