Doina Ruşti
Manuscrisul fanariot - Doina Ruşti Mămica la două albăstrele - Doina Ruşti Patru bărbaţi plus Aurelius - Doina Ruşti Cămaşa în carouri - Doina Ruşti Lizoanca - Doina Ruşti Fantoma din moară - Doina Ruşti Zogru - Doina Ruşti Omuleţul roşu - Doina Ruşti
Doina Ruşti
Manuscrisul fanariot Mămica la două albăstrele Patru bărbaţi plus Aurelius Cămaşa în carouri Lizoanca Fantoma din moară Zogru Omuleţul roşu

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Doina Rusti
Curriculum Laboris
Doina Ruşti

books .goodreaders


Romanian Writers

critical references

In the year 1790, the sultan Selim III wrote a song about a city of all pleasures, named Bucharest. People from all around the Ottoman Empire started searching for this land, amongst them a 17 year old teenager... more

Bonanno Editore, 2010

horlemann lizoanca by doina
Horlemann Verlag, Berlin, 2013

omino rosso by doina rusti
L'omino rosso,
Nikita, Firenze,2012

 zogru by doina rusti

2th ed., Polirom, 2013
mamica la doua albastrele by
                                    doina rusti

Mămica la două albăstrele
(The Story of an Adulterer)

 Polirom, 2013

lizoanca by doina rusti
Rediviva Edizioni, Milano, 2013

doina rusti
Interviewing Women Writers

curriculum laboris
Member of The Writers' Union of Romania

cronica doina rusti

debut: 1997


fantoma din moara by doina rusti
omuletul rosu
lizoanca by doina rusti
erotice zogru
short stories


farse tov

lizoanca by doina rusti
camasa în carouri by
                            doina rusti
aurelius by doina
works translated
movie screenplays

l'omino rosso by
                            doina rusti

zogru doina rusti

apartmentul 26, doina rusti belgrad


zogru by doina rusti

Literary prizes

The Romanian Academy Prize (Ion Creangă Prize), 2011, for Lizoanca

The Romanian Writers' Union Prize for Best Prose/2008 for the novel The Ghost in the Mill

The Bucharest Writers’ Association Prize for the novel Zogru, 2007

Convorbiri literare Prize for Prose, 2006

Prose Poetry Prize/2013

Nomination for the novel The Ghost in the Mill for The Book of the Year Award 2008
The Golden Medal of Schitul Darvari, for literary activity. 2008
The Ad Visum Prize for the novel Omuleţul roşu (The Little Red Man), 2005

Raluca Oproiu: The Ghost of Communism Past, Studies in Gothic fiction, Zitaw Press, 2010


Two books: Four men plus Aurelius and Lizoanca

... I do not have much time for reading... but it was enough to open one and I could not close it until I read it through. The other book struck me down, too. Doina Ruşti is an excellent prose writer, of great talent and intuition; she can have a rude style when needed, but other styles, too: humorous and candid, sarcastic and affectionate towards her characters who are always intense, interesting, ambiguous, original, as the author wants them to be.


Norman Manea

È la stessa Doina Ruşti che l'ha creato, o forse l'ha incontrato in un momento di allucinata ispirazione, a descrivere meglio di qualsiasi critico l'effetto che fa L'omino rosso.

Il romanzo della rumena Doina Ruşti, il primo di cinque, pubblicato come libro d'esordio di colei che sarebbe diventata scrittrice tra le più celebrate della Romania post-comunista, si legge con esultanza. Con la testa che risuona di esclamativi e gli angoli delle labbra che tremano di una risatina difficile da trattenere. Stupefacente è il fuoco di fila di trovate, di espressioni pungenti e fulminanti che l'autrice escogita per descrivere situazioni e stati d'animo della sua protagonista. (Alessandra Iadicicco. La Stampa, nr 1815, 12 mai, 2012)



manuscrisul fanariot


The story of a 18th century manuscript

"His best day was that of the meeting in the bakery. Many things had happened in the meantime and he was already in the period when he wanted to forget her. It was the summer of the tunic made out of ochreous fustian, one of his beloved coats."



Sétatér Kulturális Egyesület.
 trad.Szenkovics Enikő
                            by doina rusti, top10

Z o g r u

2th Edition, 2013

The Prize of Writers'Union of Romania (Bucharest Writes' Association)

In the mediaeval Romanian milieu of the reign of Vlad Dracul, the apparition of Zogru does not pass unobserved, but he is regarded an ordinary vampire.
                            la doua albastrele by doina rusti

Mămica la două albăstrele

(The Story of an Adulterer)

 Polirom, 2013

lizoanca doina rusti


Rediviva Edizioni
 Milano, 2013
 trad. Ingrid Coman
lizoanca by doina rusti, horlemann

L i z o a n c a

Horlemann Verlag,
Berlin, 2013
trans Jan Cornelius

The Romanian Academy Prize
l'omino rosso by doina rusti

L'omino rosso
Nikita Editore,
Firenze, 2012
trans. Roberto Merlo

A hacker (Albert) makes a software experiment; the result of it is that Laura subliminally absorbs a series of information (texts, images, Albert’s biography and so on).

The novel is based on two main stories: Laura’s story and Albert’s story. They both contain about 24 narratives, intertwined by various and unexpected epic links.

                            bărbati plus aurelius by doina rusti

Patru bărbaţi plus Aurelius
Four men plus Aurelius,
 Polirom, 2011

Four Men Plus Aurelius is set in a film studio, where a mysterious man turns up one day, claiming that there is a character in the novel Madame Bovary that no one except him can remember. As a result, everybody stops what they are doing and goes off to reread Flaubert’s novel. This proves to be more problematic than it would have seemed, however. The premise on which Doina Rusti’s novel is based also provides an occasion for remembrance, on the part of the central character, Licia, who falls in love with the newcomer. The men in her life – tempters, seducers, and inconstant heartbreakers – re-emerge in her memory one by one, transfigured and burdened with old guilt. This adventure, which blends together murder, sentimentality, and a tomcat that is simultaneously loved and hated, gradually replaces the narrative of the conventional novel. For, this is literature that is also about literature…(romanian writers)
camasa in carouri by doina rusti

Cămaşa în carouri şi alte 10 întâmplări din Bucureşti (The checkered shirt and 10 other episodes from Bucharest - 46.500 words 

 Ed. Polirom, Ego. Proză, 2010

A puzzle novel

The volume is made up of 11 stories that happen in contemporary Bucharest. The characters, whether in love, about to fall in love or on the brink of a great discovery, experience a series of unusual episodes, all those in connection with a story from the 18th century.


lizoanca by
                              doina rusti

Lizoanca la 11 ani
(Lizoanca at the age of eleven),
Ed. Trei, București, 2009 (75.483 words)

 I read this horrendous headline in a newspaper: Eleven-year-old prostitute infects entire village with syphilis.  Then I saw the same story in all the rest of the press.  The girl, who had parents and an average standard of living, was held responsible for almost all the cases of syphilis in her village.  The tone of the newspaper articles, the unanimity of the accusations, and the repetition of the same headline from one newspaper to the next determined me to investigate the situation and to write this novel.

In Romania around two hundred cases of child abuse are covered by the media every year.  Apart from these cases there are, of course, many others that go unreported.  The novel Lizoanca at the age of eleven is based on this factual situation. (Doina Ruşti)


The novel was a bestseller, the first edition being sold within two weeks since its release.

The subject of the novel was bought by a cinematogrphic studios.

The Romanian Academy Prize

fantoma din moara by doina rusti

The Ghost in the Mill (Fantoma din moară - 111959 words) is published by Polirom Publishing, currently Romania’s largest publishing house and the foremost promoter of contemporary Romanian fiction (2008).

The novel is a literary fiction. The subject matter deals with the communist past of Romania. A woman (Adela) from the present day finds in the window of a bookshop what seems to be a novel about her life and, having convinced herself that this really is the case, she attempts to discover what relation exists between her and the author of the novel. Her investigations lead her to a blog ( 


The novel will be translated by Italian.


The Prize of the Writers' Union of Romania


Nomination for The Book of the Year Award 2008, for The Prize Observator cultural, for the Prize Radio România, for the National Prize (The Journal of Iasi).
zogru by doina rusti

 (71194 words) was published in 2006 by Polirom.

In the mediaeval Romanian milieu of the reign of Vlad Dracul, the apparition of Zogru does not pass unobserved, but he is regarded an ordinary vampire.



 1. Balkani Publisher, Sofia, 2008, (trans. Vasilka Aleksova).

2. Bonanno Editore, Roma, 2010 (trans Roberto Merlo).


The Prize of the Writers' Union of Romania (the Bucharest Writers’ Association).


                                                         Zogru, Balkani Publishing, 2008

omuletul rosu
                              by doina rusti

L'omino rosso

Little Red Man (Omuletul Rosu - 100.000 words), Vremea Publishing House, 2004, explores the power of subliminal messages. The novel focuses on a woman’s story (Laura Iosa), who hasn’t had any sexual relations for the last 11 years. She falls in love with a man she only knows via internet. Although she doesn’t even know how he looks like, she is sure to have established a subtle bond with this character. In parallel, a hacker (Albert) makes a software experiment; the result of it is that Laura subliminally absorbs a series of information (texts, images, Albert’s biography and so on).

The novel is based on two main stories: Laura’s story and Albert’s story. They both contain about 24 narratives, intertwined by various and unexpected epic links.

Translated in  Il romanzo romeno contemporaneo (coord Nicoleta Nesu) Ed.Bagatto Libri,  Roma, 2010
L'omino rosso, Nikita Editore, Firenze, 2012

The Prize Ad visum;
The Prize of the Convorbiri literare journal.

Short stories

bucharest tales doina
Bill Cinton's Hand, 
in  Bucharest Tales, 
New Europe Writers, 2011 
(coord:A. Fincham, J. G Coon, John a'Beckett)
review by Damian Kelleher
ginecologii mei,
                            doina rusti
I miei ginecologi,
 in Compagne di viaggio, 
Sandro Teti Editore, Roma, 2011
 (coord Radu Pavel Gheo, Dan Lungu)
trans. Anita Bernacchia
doina rusti
Ura pri univerzi
  Zgodbe iz Romunije, 
Sodobnost International, Ljubljiana, 2011 
(coord: Lidjia Dimkovska, Ales Mustar, Uredila Alenka Urh)
                            rusti apartamentul 26, belgrad
Apartamentul 26,
in Koracic, Belgrad, 2013
(trad Oana Ursulesku)

care-i faza cu
Dincolo de poarta mov
in Care-i faza cu cititul?, 
Editura Art, 2010 
(coord. Liviu Papadima, Florentina Sâmihăian)
cristian le bateau
                            fantome- doina rusti
(trad. în fr. Linda Maria Baros), 
rev Le Bateau Fantôme , no. 8, 2009, 
ed. Mathieu Hilfiger

Erotic Tales, Trei Publishing House, 2007


The beginning, Under a Quicksilver Moon, 2002, SUA, Library of Congress


  Tovarăşe de drum  (The Communist Period) - Polirom, 2008, vol colectiv, coord: Radu Pavel Gheo, Dan Lungu



all books

 public lectures:

Budapesta (2007), Viena (2008), Plovdiv (2009), Torino (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013), Frankfurt (2009),
Leipzig (2010, 2013), Moscova (2010), Roma (2011, 2012), Granada (2011), Berlin (2013), Dusseldorff (2013) .


Torino, 2012

Sibiu Wien  Chişinau
Cluj Plovdiv

doina rusti

Critical references


“The product of a powerful original prose writer, a rara avis in post communist Romanian literature, The Ghost in the Mill is not only a first-rate literary event of the current year, but also one of the most convincingly poignant works of fiction addressing the topic of local communism to be published during the last decade." (Paul Cernat - Revista 22, Bucureştiul cultural, 2.12.2008)


The Ghost in the Mill is the parable of communism. A novel with substance, a sinewy prose which, I repeat, equals a part or several parts of Cărtărescu’s Orbitor”.  (Dan C. Mihăilescu, Omul care aduce cartea, ProTV, 13 10 2008)



Doina Ruşti has the vocation of a builder, the capacity to build a meaningful narrative and exuberant imagination. If asked to recommend certain characters, pages or sequences from the second part of The Ghost in the Mill, I wouldn’t know which to mention first, because almost all of them are remarkable. There is no doubt that it would be far too less if I only mentioned Săndina, the old cooperative worker, that lurks around the deserted mill and writes, without anybody suspecting her, informative notes for the Secret Police,  the grotesque Gabriel Neicuşoru, the unctuous physicist from the Phenomena Institute, or the terrifying scene when the mill is demolished. Bianca Burţa Cernat - Observator cultural, nr. 459, 29 01 2009


  The Ghost in the Mill is, from my point of view, the best novel published last year. Şerban Axinte – Observator cultural, nr. 459, 29 01 2009



The characters drawn by Doina Rusti are incredibly genuine: the author has the rare gift of seeing things both in a synthetical and a contingent way, including detail within the portrait. The core of the novel is the second part: The Mill, being slightly over 200 pages and exceptional.  Mihai Iovanel, Cultura, 29 01 2009, nr. 4



Doina Rusti is a mature, complete writer, one of the most professional Romanian writers today, with well-defined themes of work and a qualified view on the way literature should be written. Her talent does not necessarily stand for her ability to build phrases, but characters and situations which are not only convincing, but also give you the sense of contingency. The imagined scenes are stringent and their fall-like succession is overwhelming. (Doris Mironescu - Suplimentul de cultură, 9-15 05, 2009)



Doina Rusti joins the elite of our still youthful prose writers with her third novel, both ambitious and masterful. (...) The construction is remarkable: the epic matter, both dense and fluid, typologically diversified and symbolically rearticulated; the varying rhythm, alert or slow, of the narrative; the clever assemblage and great control. And above everything, an obvious artistic maturity. Daniel Cristea Enache - Timpuri noi, Ed. Cartea Românescă, 2009, p. 177

Raluca OPROIU: The Ghost of Communist Past

Books and articles about : 6 books, 70 articles. 


Doina Ruşti  is a contemporary writer, a specialist in the theory of symbols, an academic and a screen writer. She has published five novels: Four men plus Aurelius, Lizoanca at the age of eleven, The Ghost in the Mill,  Zogru, The Little Red Man, that were granted prestigious awards at national level and were translated or are going to be translated into Bulgarian, French, Spanish, Italian and Hungarian.

In an interview with Iuliana Alexa for the Psychologies magazine (June 2010), Doina Ruști was asked if she is interested in psychology and why: “One night I dreamed I was in front of Saint Sylvester Church, and somebody asked me to scan the beginning of Virgil’s first bucolic and I had started scanning ‘Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi’, until I got stuck. One word had melted altogether, swollen by the darkness of my dream, and this word was meditaris. I woke up feeling that God had sent me a message and I remembered Freud’s clinical cases connected to lapse. Conscious of his explanations, I wrote a story (included in the volume ‘Cămaşa în carouri…’), that centers Saint Sylvester Church. If this adventure is of some interest for psychology, then my answer is yes. As for why I can answer briefly: because it relaxes me and takes me out of the existential mist.” (Zenovia Popa)


Doina Rusti is one of Romania’s best-known living writers. Her novels have been translated into several languages and the writer herself has been invited to take part in a great number of international book fairs and events. Furthermore, Doina Rusti made


 “The Ghost in the Mill”, published in 2008, is a comprehensive novel dwelling on Romanian communism; it scooped the Romanian Writers’ Union’s Prize for Fiction, while her 2009 best-seller “Lizoanca, when She Was Eleven” received the Romanian Academy’s “Ion Creanga“ Award.  “Lizoanca…” was translated by the Horlemann Verlag Publishers in Berlin. The latter boasts the publication into German of Mo Yan’s works. We recall that Mo Yan is the foremost contemporary Chinese writer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012.


Between March 14th and the 17th 2013, Doina Rusti was invited to the Leipzig International Book Fair, where she gave a series of readings and had a number of meetings with her readers.


Doina Rusti:  Such events do not occur very often in my life. A debate took place at Café Europa – a place at the Fair which usually venues debates with writers coming from central and eastern Europe, where I met Jan Cornelius, who is also the translator of my novel into German. I was lucky; he is a radio producer, a writer with a good rating and a polyglot translator. Then let me also mention an important reading I gave at Fact Theater; people go there and buy tickets to listen to a writer. Such reading sessions occur in the evening with those attending underlining each sentence or butting in to ask questions. In addition,  Romania had a stand, which was organized by the Ministry of Culture where autograph signing sessions were held, as well as talks with the German readers or with Romanians living abroad. 


Concurrently, Doina Rusti took part in other events, such as a literary dialogue, the Deutsch Rumaenisches Forum organized in Berlin jointly with the Romanian Embassy. Apart from Doina Rusti, taking part in the Leipzig Book Fair were other Romanian writers such as Gabriela Adamesteanu, Daniel Banulescu or Radu Vancu. The novel’ Lizoanca” will soon be brought out by the Rediviva Publshers in Milan, Italy, and by the Ediciones Traspies, in Granada, Spain. With details on the novel “Lizoanca” here is the author herself.


Doina Rusti:  Lizoanca” deals with a time span of four decades where in a small community all sorts of compromises occur, eventually leading up to disasters, and gaining their momentum as a little girl is accused of infesting the whole village with syphilis, eventually succeeding in coping with the atrocities the grown ups had been cooking up for her. I started off from a real case, which at that time enjoyed a wide media coverage, but I did not use the real facts; I fictionalized the story. What makes the core of the novel - and I believe that was precisely why the Romanian Academy awarded the novel – is the fact that people forgot their traditions, forgot the significance of a Christian monogram and that’s where everything starts from. I’m speaking about a monogram discovered by Vasile Parvan and dated 230 AD: “Sic tibi terra levis” (May the earth rest lightly on you). The real topic of the novel is the fact that people forgot their traditions.”


Born on February 18, 1959 in Comosteni, a village in southern Romania, Doina Rusti made he debut in 1997. Among her books, worth mentioning are “The Red Little Man”, a novel about the power of loneliness in today’s world and “Zogru”, a fantastic story about a character crossing various historical ages, like a spirit embodying human experiences and aspirations. Also, Doina Rusti has been publishing short fiction, some of her short stories being included in contemporary fiction anthologies and collections.


A specialist in symbology (she is a professor), Doina Rusti has also written a series of non-fiction books, among which “Dimitrie Cantemir’s Bestiary”, “Cultural Print Media”, “The Encyclopedia of Humanistic Culture”, “A Dictionary of Symbols of Mircea Eliade’s Works”.


Young literary critic Paul Cernat wrote that Doina Rusti is, QUOTE, a strong and original prose writer, a rara avis in Romanian Literature after December 1989., UNQUOTE, while writer Nicolaa Breban praises Doina Rusti as a, QUOTE, first –class fiction writer in present-day Romanian literature. UNQUOTE.

Radio Romania International (Nicoleta Dandu)



doina rusti2013



Copyright © Doina Ruşti