Formerly a poet, Adrian Otoiu made his debut in fiction in Romania's troubled early 1990s. His novel Coaja lucrurilor sau Dans—nd cu Jupuita [The Skin of the Matter or Dancing with the Flayed] (Cartea romaneasca, 1996) won three national awards. It was followed by two volumes of short stories described by some critics as a hypertextual novel under disguise-Chei fierbinti pentru ferestre moi [Hot Keys for Soft Windows] (Paralela 45, 1998) and Stingacii si enormitati (Paralela 45, 1999)-which were both shortlisted for the ASPRO award for fiction.
As an essayist, Adrian Otoiu has authored a two-volume study that critics hailed as the ultimate exegesis of the prose of the so-called Generation of the 1980s-Trafic de frontiera [Frontier traffic] (2000) and Ochiul bifurcat, limba sasie [The Forked Eye, the Squinting Tongue] (2003). Some of Otoiu's views of the Generation of the 1980s as practitioner of liminal and transgressive narrative practice have been included in his essay on Romanian liminality, "An Exercise in Fictional Liminality: Postcolonialism, Postcommunism, and Romania's Threshold Generation" (CSSAAME, 2003).
His work in English includes a journey to the Land of Maramures and a collection of essays on the East-West cultural interface, Under Eastern Eyes: Cross-cultural Refractions (Marineasa, 2003). He has contributed to Autopia: Cars and Culture (Reaktion Books, 2002) and The reception of James Joyce in Europe (Thoemmes Continuum, 2004).
Otoiu's translation of Flann O'Brien's celebrated modernist masterpiece At Swim-Two-Birds-which earned him the first Residential Translation Bursary awarded by the Ireland Literature Exchange-is due to be published later this year.
Otoiu holds a Ph.D. from Babes Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca and teaches English and American literature at a Transylvanian university. He is currently working on a new novel entitled Serendipity ltd, and on a "memory exercise" called The Wind Sleeve.