The lyrical story of a young woman's journey from the totalitarianism of Eastern Europe to the freedom of America, told by an author who knows first-hand about living in a cruel and absurd dictatorship.
It's the summer of 1977, and 17-year-old Mona is madly in love. Visiting her aunt's village at the foot of the misty Carpathian mountains, all she can think about is the mysterious, handsome Mihai, the woods where they linger, his deep green eyes, and his cool, starched sheets.
Romania is in the early years of the repressive Ceausescu regime. One day Mona sees Mihai wearing the black leather jacket favored by the secret police. Could he be one of them?
As food shortages worsen, paranoia grows, and more of her loved ones disappear in "accidents," Mona realizes she must leave her country. She makes a daring escape to America without saying goodbye to Mihai. In Chicago, she becomes a doctoral student, marries, has children, and tries to bury her longing for the past until she feels compelled to return home and learn the truth about her one great love.
About the Author
DOMNICA RADULESCU was born in Romania and came to the United States in 1983. She holds a PhD in French and Italian Literature from the University of Chicago, and is currently a Professor of Romance Languages and Chair of the Women's Studies program at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. She has written and edited books and scholarly articles on European and Eastern European literature, and has also worked in theater for two decades, directing plays by Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Fernando Arrabal, and Jean Tardieu. She is a recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Fulbright grants. "Train to Trieste "is her first novel.
Yelena Shmulenson emigrated to the United States with her family in 1993 from Ukraine. Her theater credits include five seasons with the Folksbiene, two seasons at the Ellis Island Theatre, "Enemies: A Love Story in Russian", and "The Essence: A Yiddish Theater Dim Sum". On film, she can be seen in "The Good Shepherd", "Romeo & Juliet in Yiddish", "Fire at the Triangle", and "A Serious Man". She has recorded several audio books, winning an Earphones Award for "Train to Trieste", Cynthia Ozick s "The Shawl", and "Rosa".