Half love, half about love. This, in short, might define Dan Lungu’s new novel.
Andi and Marga are a young couple who hook up in odd circumstances and live together for one and a half years. They both work for the same provincial newspaper. She writes for the gossip page; he is an investigative journalist. Although things between them seem in order, one fine day Marga vanishes, leaving behind a cryptic farewell note. In the absence of any rational explanation, Andi, confused and consumed by questions, musters an entire arsenal of stratagems for forgetting. His life is further complicated by an encounter with a group of evangelical Protestants and by the feeling that God is on his trail. Things go from bad to good, but the ending of the tale is not necessarily a happy one, rather it is merely different. Of course, caustic observation, (self-)irony and humour are part of the mix. Disturbing and amusing, simmering with existential disquietude and scarred by damaged psyches, How to Forget a Woman is a book about overcoming misanthropy and re-conquering innocence, about tolerance…
Dan Lungu (b. 1969) is a lecturer in Sociology at “Al.I. Cuza” University, Jassy. Post-doctoral studies at the Sorbonne. Editor of Au Sud de l’Est magazine. In 2001 and 2002, he was editor-in-chief of Timpul (Time) cultural review. Published books : Edges (poetry, 1996), Pass the Phlegm Plate Round (short prose, 1999), The Construction of Identity in a Totalitarian Society : A Sociological Study of Writers (2003), Retail Prose (short stories, 1st edition : 2003, 2nd edition : Polirom, 2008), Ground-floor Wedding (theatre, 2003), Hens’ Heaven (Faux Novel of Rumours and Mysteries) (Polirom, 1st edition: 2004, 2nd edition, 2007), Good Guys (short prose, Polirom, 2005), and I’m a Communist Biddy ! (Polirom, 2007 ; the novel is currently being made into a feature film, directed by Stere Gulea, screenplay by Lucian Dan Teodorovici). The novel Hens’ Heaven has been translated into French (Le Paradis des Poules, Éditions Jacqueline Chambon, 2005), German (Das Hühnerparadies, Residenz Verlag, 2007), and Slovenian (Kokosji Rai, Apokalipsa, 2007). I’m a Communist Biddy ! has been translated into French (Je suis une vieille coco !, Éditions Jacqueline Chambon, 2008) and Hungarian (Egy komcsi nyanya vagyok !, Jelenkor, 2008). The collection of short stories Good Guys has also been translated into German (Klasse Typen, Drava Verlag, 2007). Dan Lungu is the author of the plays Knife to the Bone (performed at Green Hours, Monday Theatre, Bucharest, 2002) and Ground-floor Wedding (reading and performance at the Odeon Theatre, 2003 ; reading and performance at the Luceafărul Theatre, 2006, as part of the DramatIS project).