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Matéi Visniec

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Matéi Visniec (b. 1956) is a multi-award-winning Romanian-born novelist, playwright, poet, and journalist. He has been based in Paris since 1987, where he works as a journalist for Radio France Internationale. He writes his dramas in French and his fiction and poetry in Romanian, and his work is published, among others, by Actes Sud-Papiers, L'Harmattan, Lansman, Cartea Românească, Humanitas and Polirom. Visniec's plays are among the most frequently performed at the Avignon OFF festival and he has a growing international profile, with productions taking place across four continents. In his native Romania, Visniec has achieved quasi-canonical status since the fall of communism (his work was banned prior to 1989); most theatres stage his work on an ongoing basis (the Timişoara National Theatre programmed a festival exclusively dedicated to his work, and the recently founded Suceava Theatre was named Matei Visniec Theatre); and his literary output has been the subject of intense critical scrutiny. Matéi Visniec is the recipient of the Drama Award of the Romanian Union of Writers (2002, 1999); the Drama Award of the Academy of Romania (1998); the Award of The French Society of Authors and Composers (1994) and multiple awards at the Avignon OFF Festival. The following Visniec works are available in English: the drama anthology Matéi Visniec: How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients and Other Plays (Seagull Books, 2015); and the plays The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War, in Balkan Plots, edited by Cheryl Robson (Aurora Metro Books, 2002); and Horses at the Window, in Playwrights before the Fall, edited by Daniel Gerould (New York: Martin E Segal Center Publications, 2009). To date, three of Visniec’s novels have been translated into French, and this extract from Domnul K eliberat is his first piece of fiction published in English.

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