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Product Details

Other Press (NY)
Publish Date
5.3 X 7.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Mihail Sebastian was born in Romania in 1907 as Iosef Hechter. He worked as a lawyer and writer until anti-Semitic legislation forced him to abandon his public career. Having survived the war and the Holocaust, he was killed in a road accident in early 1945 as he was crossing the street to teach his first class. His long-lost diary, Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years, was published to great acclaim in the late 1990s.

Philip Ó Ceallaigh is short-story writer as well as a translator. In 2006 he won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His two short-story collections, Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse and The Pleasant Light of Day, were short-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. He lives in Bucharest.


"A compelling portrait of desire in its many convoluted manifestations." --Kirkus Reviews

"Perceptive and affectionate...these concise stories...showcase Sebastian's brilliant eye for emotional detail." --Publishers Weekly

Praise for For Two Thousand Years

"Remarkably pertinent to our time and place...elegiac and lyrical." --New York Times Book Review

"Scintillating...a fiery coming-of-age story introduced to the combustible material of extremist politics." --Wall Street Journal, The Best New Fiction

"Nothing I have read is more affecting than Mihail Sebastian's magnificent, haunting 1934 novel, For Two Thousand Years." --Philippe Sands, The Guardian, Best Books of 2016

"For Two Thousand Years wonderfully captures the sense of prewar Romania in all its sophistication, its beauty, and its horror...I love Sebastian's courage, his lightness, and his wit." --John Banville, author of The Sea

"Eerily prophetic...a brilliant translation of a most unusual novel." --Irish Times

"Mordant, meditative, knotty, provocative...More than a fascinating historical document, it is a coherent and persuasive novel...Philip Ó Ceallaigh's translation is highly convincing and sweeps us along with its protagonist's emotional shifts." --Financial Times

"One of the most unusual, seductive, and beautiful books I've read in years. It has lightness of touch coupled with astonishing range...Like any classic of a type we've not seen before, it is a book which needs to be read and reread and which, over years, will become a reliable friend for life." --Jewish Quarterly

"Philip Ó Ceallaigh has succeeded in preserving the unique mixture of alienation, ennui, and barely disguised anxiety that marks Sebastian's prose...the long sections written in diary form...are not just memorable, they are overwhelming." --Times Literary Supplement

"Complex, unsettling...Sebastian seldom provoked indifference in his readers. That is why he belongs in the pantheon of classic authors." --New Statesman