If you want to know what it is like to live in Romania under a communist dictatorship and to somehow fight your way into teaching English at an American university, read this book.
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Reviews / Endorsements
“Lucia Cherciu’s poetry takes place on the memory train stopping at multiple stations, some of them real like Bucharest and the places of her childhood, others drawn from the milky sea of boundless myth that has a station in every Romanian-born poet. The train also stops in the Where of Now, announcing Lucia’s arrival with a blast of snow or a rain of sour cherries. Unscheduled and announced, it’s a train to watch for.”—Andrei Codrescu
From the Book:
She was not ugly; she was not beautiful.
Skinny, with a scarf that covered her face
as she slinked by the fence at night.
When she smiled, her left cheek revealed
or maybe hid, a birthmark. The men
who lived up on the hill knew her.
Her neighbors watched her gate,
the stealthy steps of summer, and counted
months for each of her children.
The last one, with red hair,
looked nothing like her mother
or siblings. She looked like
the Godfather who had held
candles at the wedding, the valley
blossoming with gossip and gossamer.
LUCIA CHERCIU was born in Romania, has Romanian passions for the poor, the exiled, the murdered. Anti-communist, she came to America and miraculously manages to teach English at SUNY / Dutchess in Poughkeepsie, New York. She writes both in English and Romanian, but does not translate her own work.