Troubador Times New Romanian

Released: 28/07/2014

eISBN: 9781783065936

Format: eBook

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Times New Romanian

Voices and Narrative from Romania


Times New Romanian provides a picture of Romania today through the individual first-person narratives of people who chose to go and make a life in this country. Each chapter a voice, each story in Times New Romanian provides readers with a look into the Romanian world – the way things work, the vitality of the people, the living heritage of rural traditions, ordinary life – sometimes dark, sometimes sublime, always interesting. In a land full of character and contradiction, there is a strong attraction for those with the spirit to meet the challenges, where the one thing you can be sure of is the unpredictable. Life is not always easy. These stories will tell you why... If you want to know more about Romanians and their country, the voices in Times New Romanian make for an enjoyable and lively read. Inspired by Studs Terkel and Tony Parker, Nigel used their oral history style and his own experience in Romania to guide him in recording these interviews.

Times New Romanian was published in Romanian by Editura ALL on 11 November 2016 under the title 'Stabilit in Romania'. It is now on sale in Romania.

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Brian J. Cox reviewed Times New Romanian

An exceptionally good book about the real Romania 7 June 2014

For the British media, Romania still seems to be all about orphans, stray dogs and gypsies. I've been three times as a tourist and find it a beautiful and fascinating place, inhabited by friendly people, but of course as a tourist I know little more than the sad press clichés. It's all the more valuable then, to find a book containing the experiences of a wide range of foreigners - British, Dutch, Italians, Americans and others - who have lived and worked in Romania since the fall of Communism, often for many years during which time they have acquired a Romanian family. Nigel Shakespear has done a first-rate job in gathering together these accounts, which are extremely varied - everything from entrepreneurs to town planners and aid workers - and without exception very interesting and instructive. We learn about Romania warts and all - the spaga (bribes) often necessary to get anything done, the unwillingness of Romanians to accept responsibility (a hangover from Communist days), but at the same of peoples' friendliness and something about the place that makes this varied cast of foreigners fall in love with the country and a people that feel themselves culturally a part of the wider Europe and want to catch up after all those wasted Communist years. This is an exceptionally good book, for which Nigel Shakespear must take much of the credit in his choice of contributors: no-one should even contemplate doing business in Romania without reading it, and anyone visiting the country wanting to know more about it should pack a copy along with their guidebook of choice.

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Nigel Shakespear

An Englishman abroad for most of his life, from 2003 Nigel Shakespear spent the best part of ten years in Romania, travelling throughout the country, much of that time working with the government on improving conditions for the Roma. His experience of Eastern Europe began back in the Cold War days when he was in the British Army. Later he spent some years in Russia in the 90s before working on European Union funded programmes around Eastern Europe.

Fascinated by an intriguing country full of contrast and contradiction, and asked often enough by Romanians, ‘What do you think of our country?’ he decided to come to an answer by talking to foreigners who had been living in Romania long-term, people more integrated into the Romanian world. When his last contract came to an end, he set off to talk to them. This took him on a haphazard and engaging trail through Bucharest, around Transylvania, to Maramures and the Banat. The ‘New Romanians’ he found living there helped him develop a deeper appreciation of the country and its people.

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