Life Begins on Friday

by Ioana Pârvulescu


Fiction from Istros Books
Translated from Romanian

Within the pages of this charming book, the stories of a variety of characters unfold, each closely interwoven with the next, and outlining the features of what ultimately turns out to be the most important and most powerful character of all: the city of Bucharest itself.

SKU: 141 Category:


ISBN: 9781908236-296 | Paperback
Istros Books


With a foreword by Mircea Cărtărescu

A young man is found lying unconscious on the outskirts of Bucharest. No one knows who he is and everyone has a different theory about how he got there. The plot of Life Begins on Friday takes place during the last 13 days of 1897 and culminates in a beautiful tableau of the future as imagined by the characters we have come to know and love. We might even say that it is we who inhabit their future, and so too does Dan Creţu, alias Dan Kretzu, the present-day journalist hurled back in time by some mysterious process for just long enough to allow us a wonderful glimpse into a remote, almost forgotten world.

Pârvulescu’s book is a magical tale full of enchanting characters who can carry the reader to another time….

Translated by Alastair Ian Blythe

Enjoy a long excerpt from this book in Trafika Europe 8 – Romanian Holiday


“Grounded in solid knowledge of the history and culture of the time, this novel, told from the point of view of different characters, has a luxurious feel to it, the images unrolling like a film, it floats a little above the hard-edged solidity of the world we know. Yet we experience the same feelings as the characters – amazement, delight, curiosity, anticipation, dread, loss and love.”

Scottish Review

“A multi-faceted microcosm of 19th century Bucharest”

Joshua Koehler, Waterstones blog

“This is a glimpse into a city that at this time was a shining light in Europe and also to an age where the human soul was maybe less weary.”
Stu Allen, Winstonsdad

“The indelible Romanian spirit shines through an array of colourful characters”
Lucy Popescu, Riveting Reads

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