Wasted Morning

Trade Cloth – $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-2637-4
Publication Date
May 2011
Page Count
400 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Wasted Morning

A Novel
Gabriela Adamesteanu

Upon its original publication in 1983, Wasted Morning catapulted Gabriela Adamesteanu to the first rank of Romanian novelists. She has since been translated into many languages, and now her most famous novel is available in English for the first time. At the center of Wasted Morning is Vica Delca, a simple, poor woman in her seventies who has endured the endless series of trials and tribulations that was Romanian history from WWI to the end of the twentieth century. 

She's a born storyteller, chatting and gossiping tirelessly. But she also listens, so it is through her that Adamesteanu is able to show us a panoramic portrait of Romanian society as the fortunes of its various strata shift violently. Rich or poor, honest (more or less) or deceitful, all of the characters in this polyphonic novel are brought vividly to life. From Bucharest's aspirations to be the Paris of Eastern Europe to the darkest days of dictatorship, the novel presents a sweeping vision of the personal and collective costs of a turbulent century.

About the Author

Gabriela Adamesteanu is one of Romania's most acclaimed authors. Among her best-known works of fiction are The Equal Way of Every Day (1975), Wasted Morning (1984), The Encounter (2007), and Provisional (2010). Her awards include the Romanian Academy Award for Fiction, The Romanian Writers Union Award, a Hellman Hammett Grant from Human Rights Watch. Her books have been translated and published in France, Spain, Italy, Russian, Israel, Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, and Estonia.

"Considered one of the best novels of Romanian postwar literature, Wasted Morning is a modern chronicle of seven decades in Romanian society, from 1941 to the mid-1980s, from the time when Bucharest started to be a 'Little Paris' to the decay of Ceausescu's bleak dictatorship. Time seems to be the main character, but the novel's exceptional heroine, Vica, a colorful, gossipy witness with a harsh tongue—a kind of Leopold Bloom in a skirt—unites the many layers of this great narrative in a seductive mixture of irony and pathos, gravity and ridicule, social-political turmoil and the fervor of a vivid inner life. Powerful, subtle, original."

—Norman Manea, author of The Hoolgan's Return: A Memoir and Compulsory Happiness.

Gabriela Adamesteanu is remarkable both for the quality of her writing as well as for her brooding gaze, which encompasses, with some cruelty, nearly a century of Romanian history. Wars, persecution, shortages, privations, and censorship are among the calamities that emerge, woven together by the sheer strength of her prose."

Le Monde

"Wasted Mornin is, doubtlessly, a painful symbol of a Romania sacrificed for a century on the bloody altar of war and communism. These sinister specters haunt the writer, driving her to recreate in this truculent, furious work the popular parlance and lyrical street language of a country in which the wooden official language had grown into a coffin for the imagination."