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Burying the Typewriter: Childhood Under the Eye of the Secret Police Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447210832
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447210832
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.5 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 752,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"In "Burying the Typewriter", Carmen Bugan delivers neither a memoir of blame nor a hagiography. What she has drawn, within the story of her own childhood, is a complex portrait of an exasperating father, a man who happens to be a hero in the eyes of Amnesty International and the Western World, a hero in the service of a just cause. But, while he may be the driving force behind her story . . . it is her world that is revealed here, a world she was forced to leave behind and that she looks back on now with sorrow, pride, longing and rage." --Lynn Freed, Bakeless Prize judge

'Carmen Bugan s Burying the Typewriter isn t just a striking and valuable work of testimony imagine a Romanian Stasiland written by a poet whose freshness of language and feeling for grace survive even as she lays bare the crimes of the Ceausescu regime. Her book is itself a rebuke to totalitarianism. It s a song of childhood rendered with such love and vividness and life-zest it actually seems to be warm-blooded in your hands.' --William Fiennes

'A stunningly powerful piece of writing, a modern classic. Though often moving, her account isn t sentimental . . . the voice of the child in this astonishing memoir comes out loud and clear, infused with an uncrushable spirit.'
--Bee Wilson, Sunday Times

"In "Burying the Typewriter", Carmen Bugan delivers neither a memoir of blame nor a hagiography. What she has drawn, within the story of her own childhood, is a complex portrait of an exasperating father, a man who happens to be a hero in the eyes of Amnesty International and the Western World, a hero in the service of a just cause. But, while he may be the driving force behind her story . . . it is her world that is revealed here, a world she was forced to leave behind and that she looks back on now with sorrow, pride, longing and rage." --Lynn Freed, Bakeless Prize judge

'Bugan s memoir of her family s life in Romania is hard to categorise: it is something like Laura Ingalls Wilder s Little House on the Prairie meets Anna Funder s account of East German repression, Stasiland. In direct, vivid prose, she shows us what it feels like when a family gets on the wrong side of a stifling political regime. It is a stunningly powerful piece of writing, a modern classic.' --The Sunday Times Culture

'Bugan does not flinch from depicting the resentment her younger self felt towards her father at putting his politics before his family, nor does she swerve in her love and loyalty. She concludes this extraordinary book with an account of returning to Romania as an adult and reproductions of surveillance documents on her father.' --Metro

'Burying the Typewriter can be read as a heartfelt indictment of an evil political system, but essentially it is a book touched with grace...it is the more moving for being so quiet and thoughtful and for celebrating the riches of the natural world that are always there to celebrate.' --The Independent

'[A] superbly realized memoir of a childhood smudged out by political repression...this is a smashing book...The photograph of the buried typewriter is arresting, proof of a time when madness stalked a corner of our continent. --John Sweeney, Literary Review

'Burying the Typewriter can be read as a heartfelt indictment of an evil political system, but essentially it is a book touched with grace- the grace of forgiveness, in no small measure, for those who were dragged into that system out of fear for themselves and for their loved ones. It is the more moving and powerful for being so quiet and thoughtful and for celebrating the riches of the natural world that are always there to celebrate.'
----The Independent Radar

"It is characteristic of the unflinching honesty of her book that she focuses on the cost as well as the importance of her father's heroism . . . Bugan understands fully the crushed, desensitised place from which these works come. She recalls: Such isolation, pressure, not knowing which of our friends were friends and which were informers, the atmosphere in which we could not tell illusion from hope, made us all just stop feeling altogether. The words strike to the heart of the Romanian experience. And it may be Bugan s distance, literal and emotional, as a refugee ensconced in the new world (the family defected to Michigan and Bugan now lives in Switzerland), that has allowed her to describe these tortuous times with such startling warmth, perception and humanity." --Daily Telegraph

'Bugan s memoir of her family s life in Romania is hard to categorise: it is something like Laura Ingalls Wilder s Little House on the Prairie meets Anna Funder s account of East German repression, Stasiland. In direct, vivid prose, she shows us what it feels like when a family gets on the wrong side of a stifling political regime. It is a stunningly powerful piece of writing, a modern classic.' --The Sunday Times Culture

'Bugan does not flinch from depicting the resentment her younger self felt towards her father at putting his politics before his family, nor does she swerve in her love and loyalty. She concludes this extraordinary book with an account of returning to Romania as an adult and reproductions of surveillance documents on her father.' --Metro

'Burying the Typewriter can be read as a heartfelt indictment of an evil political system, but essentially it is a book touched with grace...it is the more moving for being so quiet and thoughtful and for celebrating the riches of the natural world that are always there to celebrate.' --The Independent

'[A] superbly realized memoir of a childhood smudged out by political repression...this is a smashing book...The photograph of the buried typewriter is arresting, proof of a time when madness stalked a corner of our continent. --John Sweeney, Literary Review

'Burying the Typewriter can be read as a heartfelt indictment of an evil political system, but essentially it is a book touched with grace- the grace of forgiveness, in no small measure, for those who were dragged into that system out of fear for themselves and for their loved ones. It is the more moving and powerful for being so quiet and thoughtful and for celebrating the riches of the natural world that are always there to celebrate.' --The Independent Radar

'It is the physical and emotional sufferings of the Bugan family under the repressive Ceausescu regime that make her story. Rather than any analysis of her father s beliefs and activities, it is the author s mix of the naïve and the knowing to present her memory of her life as a child that indicts totalitarianism more poignantly than her father s politics of opposition.' -- The Times

'Burying the Typewriter is a warm and humane work, though its child s perspective remains muffled from the greater horror of the regimes...This account of growing up inside Ceausescu s Romania is warm and humane.' --The Observer

'This is a smashing book. Just as Carmen was completing it the government in Romania finally allowed her to access some of the Securitate files. She includes some of the dread paperwork but, perhaps out of decency and kindness, passes over the evidence of her father s betrayal. The photograph of the buried typewriter is arresting, proof of a time when madness stalked a corner of our continent . . . [a] superbly realised memoir of a childhood smudged out by political repression.' --Literary Review

Book Description

‘This story starts roughly in the 1970s, a few years after I was born, about the time when I began to have memories and my father’s codename was already long established as “Andronic”, a name we learned about only last summer . . .’

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