The First Romanian Crime Novels Translated in London
Article published in Ziarul Financiar (The Financial Newspaper) on 9 December 2011
Author: Bogdan Hrib
Looking at London from above... it’s not that easy. They say you really don’t have the chance to do it that often, and especially from the Canary Wharf tower. And especially from floor 31.
30 November, towards the evening, and a cold wind blows. We get there by the Tube, with no delays, although they had announced strikes affecting the public transport network. We ask which one is the building. One of our translators, Mihai, replies:
“You can’t see it yet. It’s somehow around the corner. The tallest one.”
Then we reach One Canada Square. It is huge. He calms us down:
“Floor 31 is about one third from the top.”
In the ground floor entrance hall we are given personalised identification cards. Nobody enters here as they please. That’s normal, security reasons...
We climb there in a matter of seconds.
Floor 31 is all white. With the exception of the central isle with the lifts and service areas, the entire surface of the floor is open and we can see London from above, from all the four cardinal directions.
There are some emotions present but we do not pay any attention to them. People start to arrive. Few of them known to us - George Arion, Oana Stoica-Mujea or me; they are introduced to us by the ProFusion Crime team. We become friends. Agents, editors, university professors, even some City bankers, Romanians settled here for decades, Romanian students, businessmen. Champagne, Romanian traditional snacks and live chamber music.
Mike Phillips, our editor and the boss from ProFusion, opens the event. Ramona Mitrică, co-director of the publishing house, continues. Then we read fragments in Romanian, followed immediately by the English translation.
George and I are asked for the first autographs. And we ask each time:
“In Romanian or in English?”
We find out, we smile and we write.
But you probably did not understand anything of this. Attack in the Library by George Arion and Kill the General, by – if you please – Bogdan Hrib were translated into English by ProFusion Crime and presented in London. The same goes for the special preview of Anatomical Clues by Oana Stoica-Mujea. That is all. Just that. Simple.
It’s good to feel, from time to time, as a pampered author only. Especially if you have a British editor.
Should I add that the following day, on 1 December, we presented the same books at the University of Leeds, among students and professors? Should I talk about the next titles?... No, it is enough for the moment. We’ll come back to this. The story is just beginning. See you soon.