When the precocious daughter of a high-ranking Communist official rebels against her patriarchal father and renounces the preordained path of the New Human – the ideal citizen who would embody the qualities needed to fulfill the vision of an utopian Communist system in Romania – she comes to a decisive crossroad. Fleeing Father chronicles the courageous journey of a young woman's struggle for freedom and individuality. Through art and sheer strength of will, she resists the extravagantly cruel dehumanization wrought by the ideology she was made to represent and discovers the hard-won meaning of achieving self-hood – with all of its triumphs and losses. Banciu’s hypnotic style and sparse and unsparing language is eloquent and emotionally penetrating and speaks to all who have at one time or another sought self-discovery, forgiveness, and the hope of healing in the face of all forms of psychological and ideological divisions.
"Was the past represented in Carmen-Francesca’s novels ever really overcome? What was lost in the rush to consign communism to the scrapheap of history? Are we still searching for the New Human? Carmen-Francesca’s works do not offer answers to these questions, but they help us ask them. And they do that in way that also touches on our experience of being human. It is not only under communism that children cannot live up to their parents’ unrealistic expectations, or that parents project their dashed hopes for life onto their children, or that we experience loneliness and regret."
– From the afterword in the book by Prof. Sara Jones, University of Birmingham, England
Carmen-Francesca Banciu was born in Romanian Lipova and studied religious painting and foreign trade in Bucharest. As a result of being awarded the International Short Story Award of the City of Arnsberg for the story "Das strahlende Ghetto" (1985), she was banned from publishing her work in Romania.
In 1991 she accepted an invitation extended by DAAD Berlin Artists-in-Residence program and came to Germany. She has been living in Berlin since 1992, employed as a freelance author writing articles for the radio and newspapers as well as leading seminars for creativity and creative writing. Since 2013 she has acted as the co-editor and deputy director of the transnational, interdisciplinary and multilingual e-magazine Levure Littéraire. Banciu has received numerous literature prizes and scholarships; most recently her Novel Lebt wohl, Ihr Genossen und Geliebten was nominated 2018 for the German Book Prize. Her work has been translated into many languages.