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Fri, Apr 14


New York

Mircea Cărtărescu: The Breakthrough American Tour

Come meet the author of hypnotizing SOLENOID, finalist of Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, named one of the best books of 2022 by the New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, The Financial Times, and Words Without Borders

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Mircea Cărtărescu: The Breakthrough American Tour
Mircea Cărtărescu: The Breakthrough American Tour

Time & Location

Apr 14, 2023, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT

New York, 4 Fulton St, New York, NY 10038, USA

About The Event

While not his first English translation, Mircea Cărtărescu’s Solenoid, published by Deep Vellum, is his first book that has truly captured the imagination of the American critics and public alike. Met with raving reviews, with the initial printing already sold out, the masterful, hypnotizing novel, brilliantly translated by Sean Cotter, has become a revelation of the current literary season. Mircea Cărtărescu, who is one of Romanian culture’s most internationally recognized and acclaimed names, will crisscross America for a series of much-anticipated public appearances, starting in San Francisco at the legendary Beatnik den, City Lights Bookstore, followed by events in Seattle, Dallas, Houston, and New York. 

A tour organized by RCI New York in partnership with Deep Vellum, with the support of City Lights Bookstore, Seattle Public Library, Wild Detectives, UT Dallas, Inprint Publishing, McNally Jackson Books, and American Romanian Cultural Society Seattle.


San Francisco, City Lights Bookstore - Mircea Cărtărescu in conversation with Mauro Javier Cardenas, April 3, 6:00 pm / RSVP

Seattle, Seattle Public Library - Mircea Cărtărescu in conversation with ARCS President Ileana Marin, April 5, 7:00 pm / RSVP

Dallas, Wild Detectives - Mircea Cărtărescu in conversation with translator Sean Cotter, April 8, 1:00 pm / RSVP

Dallas, UT Dallas, Jonsson Performance Hall - Mircea Cărtărescu in conversation with translator Sean Cotter, April 10, 5:30 pm / RSVP

Houston, Inprint - Mircea Cărtărescu in conversation with writer Andrea Bajani, April 12, 7:30 pm / NO RSVP REQUIRED

New York, McNally Jackson Books Seaport - Mircea Cărtărescu in conversation with writer Alex Shephard, April 14, 7:00 pm / RSVP

MIRCEA CĂRTĂRESCU, poet, novelist, literary critic, and publicist, member of the Romanian Writers`s Union and PEN Romania, and Professor Emeritus of Bucharest University, is one of the most awarded and translated contemporary Romanian writers, who has so far published over 35 volumes, translated into 25 languages. Along the years his books have been awarded both in Romania and abroad, Cărtărescu himself being nominated by Romania for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He is the recipient of the Formentor Prize (2018), the Thomas Mann Prize (2018), the Austrian State Prize for Literature (2015), and the Vilenica Prize (2011), among many others. Among his most important books are Nostalgia, Levantul, the novel trilogy Orbitor / Blinding, Solenoid, and his most recent novel, Theodoros. Blinding: Book One was published, in Sean Cotter's English translation, by Archipelago Books in 2013.


A highly-acclaimed master work of fiction from Cărtărescu, author of Blinding: an existence (and eventually a cosmos) created by forking paths. 

Finalist of Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Named one of the best books of 2022 by the New Yorker, Publishers Weekly, The Financial Times, and Words Without Borders. 

Based on Cărtărescu's own role as a high school teacher, Solenoid begins with the mundane details of a diarist's life and quickly spirals into a philosophical account of life, history, philosophy, and mathematics. One character asks another: when you rush into the burning building, will you save the newborn or the artwork? On a broad scale, the novel’s investigations of other universes, dimensions, and timelines reconcile the realms of life and art. The novel is grounded in the reality of late 1970s/early 1980s Communist Romania, including long lines for groceries, the absurdities of the education system, and the misery of family life. The text includes sequences in a tuberculosis sanatorium, an encounter with an anti-death protest movement, a society of dream investigators, and an extended visit to the miniscule world of dust mites living on a microscope slide. Combining fiction with autobiography and history - the scientists Nicolae Tesla and George Boole, for example, appear alongside the Voynich manuscript - Solenoid ruminates on the exchanges possible between the alternate dimensions of life and art, as various, monstrous dimensions erupt within the Communist present.

SEAN COTTER is a translator and professor of literature and translation at the University of Texas at Dallas. A previous National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, he is the translator of 11 books, including T.O. Bobe’s Curl and Nichita Stănescu’s Wheel with a Single Spoke and Other Poems, which was awarded the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. His translation of Magda Cârneci's FEM, which won the PEN Translation Award, was published by Deep Vellum in 2021.

DEEP VELLUM is an American publishing house founded in 2013, which has become the most important private U.S. institution that publishes literary translations of books from all over the world in English. 

Photo credit: Cătălina Flămânzeanu

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