The Censor's Notebook Paperback by Liliana Corobca

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The Censor's Notebook Paperback by Liliana Corobca

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press (2022-11-08)
  • Language: English
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • ISBN-13: 9781644211502
  • Item Weight: 498.96 grams
  • Dimensions: 8.23 x 5.51 x 1.32 cm

A fascinating narrative of life in communist Romania, and a thought-provoking meditation on the nature of literature and censorship.

Winner of the 2023 Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize

A Censor’s Notebook is a window into the intimate workings of censorship under communism, steeped in mystery and secrets and lies, confirming the power of literature to capture personal and political truths.
The novel begins with a seemingly non-fiction frame story—an exchange of letters between the author and Emilia Codrescu, the female chief of the Secret Documents Office in Romania’s feared State Directorate of Media and Printing, the government branch responsible for censorship. Codrescu had been responsible for the burning and shredding of the censors’ notebooks and the state secrets in them, but prior to fleeing the country in 1974 she had stolen one of these notebooks.
Now, forty years later, she makes the notebook available to Liliana, the character of the author, for the newly instituted Museum of Communism. The work of a censor—a job about which it is forbidden to talk—is revealed in this notebook, which discloses the structures of this mysterious institution and describes how these professional readers and ideological error hunters are burdened with hundreds of manuscripts, strict deadlines, and threatening penalties. The censors lose their identity, and are often frazzled by neuroses and other illnesses.

About the Author

LILIANA COROBCA is a writer and researcher of communist censorship in Romania. She was born in the Republic of Moldova and is the author of the novel Negrissimo (2003), winner of the ‘Prometheus’ Prize for debut fiction. She is also the author of the novels A Year in Paradise (2005), Kinderland (2013), and The Old Maids’ Empire (2015). She has received grants and artists’ residencies in Germany, Austria, France, and Poland.

MONICA CURE is a Romanian-American writer, translator, and dialogue specialist, as well as a two-time Fulbright grant award winner. Her poetry and translations have been published in journals internationally, and she’s the author of the book Picturing the Postcard: A New Media Crisis at the Turn of the Century (University of Minnesota Press). She is currently based in Bucharest.

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