Domnica Radulescu

Train to Trieste
  • Train to Trieste

  • It is 1977 and seventeen-year-old Mona Manoliu has fallen in love with Mihai, a mysterious boy who lives in the romantic mountain city where she spends her summers. She can think of nothing and no one else.

    But life under Ceausescu's Romania is difficult. Hunger, paranoia and fear infect everyone. One day Mona sees Mihai wearing the black leather jacket favoured by the secret police. Is it possible he is one of them? As food shortages worsen and more of her loved ones disappear, Mona comes to understand that she must leave Romania.

    She escapes in secret - narrowly avoiding the police - through Yugoslavia to Italy, and finally to Chicago. But she leaves without saying a final goodbye to Mihai. And though she struggles to bury her longing for the past, many years later she finds herself compelled to return, determined to learn the truth.

Domnica Radulescu won a national prize for a volume of short stories when she was twenty, just before she fled her native Romania during Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship. She settled in the United States as a political refugee in 1983. She is a Professor of French and Italian Literature and Chair of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. She has authored and edited numerous books, collections and articles on Western classical and modern theatre, women and comedy, exile narratives, representations of women in literature and culture, and performance studies. She has worked in the theatre, directed numerous plays and is the founding director of The National Symposium of Theatre in Academe. Her first novel Train to Trieste won the Library of Virginia Award for Best Fiction. Black Sea Twilight is her second novel. She lives in Lexington, Virginia, with her two sons.

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