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book cover of The Romanian

The Romanian

A non fiction book by

Winner of the 2004 Prix de Flore - one of France's most distinguished literary prizes - a wildly romantic, true-life love story

"History follows a trail of sputtering desire, often calling upon the delusions of lovers to generate the sparks. If it weren't for us, the world would suffer from a dismal lack of stories," writes Bruce Benderson in this brutally candid memoir.

"What astonishes and intrigues is Benderson's way of recounting, in the sweetest possible voice, things that are considered shocking," wrote Le Monde. What's so shocking? It's not just Benderson's job translating Celine Dion's saccharine autobiography, which he admits is driving him mad; but his unrequited love for an impoverished Romanian in "cheap club-kid platforms with dollar signs in his squinting eyes," whom he meets while on a journalism assignment in Eastern Europe.

Rather than retreat, Benderson absorbs everything he can about Romanian culture and discovers an uncanny similarity between his own obsession for the Romanian (named Romulus) and the disastrous love affair of King Carol II, the last king of Romania (1893-1953). Throughout, Benderson - "absolutely free of bitterness, nastiness, or any desire to protect himself," wrote Le Monde - is sustained by little white codeine pills, a poetic self-awareness, a sense of humor, and an unwavering belief in the perfect romance, even as wild dogs chase him down Romanian streets.

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Used availability for Bruce Benderson's The Romanian

Paperback Editions

January 2006 : UK Paperback

Title: Romanian, The: Story of an Obsession
Author(s): Bruce Benderson
ISBN: 1-905005-18-0 / 978-1-905005-18-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Snowbooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

February 2006 : USA Paperback

Title: The Romanian: Story of an Obsession
Author(s): Bruce Benderson
ISBN: 1-58542-478-1 / 978-1-58542-478-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Tarcher
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

February 2006 : USA, Canada Kindle edition

Title: The Romanian: Story of an Obsession
Author(s): Bruce Benderson
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA