Romanian writer and editor Adina Keneres dies at 65

Writer Adina Keneres: Radio Romania Cultural
Writer Adina Keneres: Radio Romania Cultural

Romanian writer and editor Adina Keneres, one of the prominent writers of the 1980s whose life was the „purest expression of the tragedy of the Romanian people” has died, her family said. She was 65.

Ms Keneres who headed the Bucharest-based Compania publishing house  for the past quarter century died on Friday after a short illness.

Known for her wit, sharp prose, discipline, and love of children, she was fluent in English and French, having lived in Paris for a decade before finally returning to Romania in the 1990s.

„Her life was the purest expression of tragedy of the Romanian people of the last century, ” said Aurel Rogojan, a writer and former senior Securitate officer. „Her grandparents’ family were stripped of their worldly goods, uprooted and sent into exile to the weeds of the Baragan plain. She went into voluntary exile in France, where she established herself as a writer and returned to Romania, animated the flicker of hope, which quickly turned to perpetual despair– that of a people sacrificed in the name of Europe.”

In 2018,  Romania Cultural said  that :„Her prose had heralded another aesthetic and moral sensibility in the bountiful years of the late Ceausescu ‘reign’. She gave up writing to edit books, and “made” quality books and writers.”

Frustrated that the communists wouldn’t let her pursue scholarships abroad, she left Romania in the 1980s at the same time as her husband, Petru Romosan, who secretly fled over the border to Hungary.

A native of Bucharest, she graduated from the Faculty of Foreign Literature and Language of the University of Bucharest in 1980.

She initially worked as an English teacher in the southern city of Ploiesti, before becoming an editor and librarian.

In 1987 she finally left Romania, settling in Paris.

There she worked at an art gallery and then moved into publishing, working for Belin, Larousse, Flammarion, Hachette and Fontaine. In 1989, she obtained a diploma at Paris University.

Her literary debut  “Angel with a green hat” in 1981 won her a Writers’ Union’s award. In 1983.

She returned to Romania in 1997 when she set up the Compania publishing house with her husband, the writer Petru Romosan.

She is survived by her husband and daughter, Margot.

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