Lebt wohl, Ihr Genossen und Geliebten!
Childhood truly ends there where the story of our parents becomes our own, and when we can no longer evade the abyss of both their and one's own soul. Maria-Maria travels to Romania to visit her father who was injured in an accident. Despite his possessive lovers, she cares for him together with the other women. In his eyes, she, the daughter, has betrayed the real utopia of the Communist society. She, on the other hand, only sees him as the hardline Party rhetorician, who grandstanded as a moral authority, demanded sacrifices of others, while he himself lived a hypocritical life.
Carmen-Francesca Banciu's new novel is about the death of an alleged patriot for whom Fatherland, the Party, and the construction of a New Society always came first; it is also about parental love that one hopes for yet remains denied and the love that one might not be capable of giving. She explores the questions of how to bid farewell to one's parents, how to deal with their life's illusions and lies, and the kind of personal transformations that therewith one experiences.
The novel's poetic language conveys the drama of personal relationships directly to the reader, who is drawn into being part of the narrative. Banciu observes the death of a father, she listens and waits. By repetition, the words gain suggestive power. Banciu circles around her characters, draws from memories as well as present day experiences. One word implies the next. The reader experiences how thoughts are formed and collapse again. Her requiem to the ideologically exalted family, the Party and Fatherland is full of courage and relevance.
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.