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The Artist's Father in the Riverside Thicket

The Artist's Father in the Riverside Thicket presents the life of a man who was born when First World War was finished, who lived through the Second World War, the communist regime, the revolution and the post-revolutionary years. He lived to see his 92 year. Struggling to study and to surpass a humble condition while he supported a family, he became old, ill and helpless in a society where social and health services simply did not work. The Artist's Father in the Riverside Thicket presents other characters as well: a friend, a saint woman, a quaint doctor, a merciless doctor, a devoted wife, people from the countryside and the author himself, who sees himself as a painter, an artist, painting the portrait of the main character. The novel tells stories of my family and of my country, stories of the war and of the communist era. The life of the main character is portrayed against the background of the Romanian society during the last sixty years. The tone of this book is at times confessional, at times lyrical. The novel is organized in ten chapters. In the first chapter the main character appears in his old years, losing his memory. In the second chapter the author - the artist - assumes the task of telling what the father already forgets, that is stories of his childhood and youth in a patriarchal world, which already disappeared. The third chapter makes the link to the present time in an original way. Chapter four refers to the artist himself and to a character who played an important part in his life. The fifth chapter presents the world after the war in a small Romanian community and refers to the character's hobby, the theater. Chapter six tells war stories which the main character has lived. Chapter seven begins with the revolution in Romania and goes on presenting the main character in his old years. The life at an old age and the illness of memory loss, Alzheimer, transform a human being. This is what the next chapter, chapter eight, deals with. In chapter nine appear other characters, such as a grandchild continuing the life chain. This chapter tells also about the main character's job, which is mathematics and which is, through its nature, stronger than Alzheimer itself. The last chapter adds an optimistic tone to the whole, which the former nine lack.
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About the Author

Michaela Rosioru was born ten years after the end of the Second World War and lived through the material and moral shortages imposed by the communist regime during her young and mature age. After the fall of the communist regime she did what most of her countrymen did: traveled to some parts of the world, as she has not been allowed to do this before. She published several articles in the most important cultural weekly of the post-revolutionary era, called 'Dilema', several short stories in the magazine 'Reflex' and an article in 'Antagonismes communautaires et dialogues interculturels' (l'Harmattan, Bruxelles, 2008). Michaela Rosioru studied German and English at the Bucharest University and has been always working as a teacher of German at a secondary school in the seaside city of Constanta, a job she never liked and which held her trapped. She considers that the only way to escape the trap is writing, which has always been her secret job. The author considers that the 'The Artist's Father in the Riverside Thicket' could be interesting to educated adults who read literature and to people belonging to the Romanian Diaspora, who might find within the novel well-known life patterns of the former fatherland.

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