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Gheorghe Săsărman

Gheorghe Săsărman

Born on April 9, 1941, in Bucharest, Romania, Gheorghe Săsărman spent his childhood and attended high-school in Cluj, Transylvania's capital-city. He studied architecture in Bucharest and after graduation was employed as a journalist, authoring articles on architecture and popular science. In 1978 he received his Ph.D. in the theory of architecture with the dissertation Function, Space, Architecture (later published as an essay). Politically constrained to abandon his activity as a media writer, he left Ceauşescu’s Romania in 1983 and settled in Munich, Germany, where he worked as a computer programmer and analyst. He is married, has a daughter (35) and a son (30) and has recently become a grandfather.

After the fall of the communist regime (1989) he resumed his activity as a journalist, contributing to Romanian newspapers and magazines and to various publications of the Romanian diaspora texts later collected in the volume Between Parallel Mirrors (2009). Between 2006--2010, in Munich, he edited the review The Apposition, a sui-generis almanach written by Romanian-born men of culture living abroad. He is a member of the Professional Journalists’ Union and of the Romanian Writers' Union.

Săsărman made his debut as a writer in 1962, when he won the first prize at a SF short-story contest organized for seven East-European countries. His first book, The Oracle (1969) grouped texts previously published in periodicals. His best-known work, Squaring the Circle (1975), clashed with the communist censorship, which cut out one quarter of its contents; also published in France (1994) and Spain (2010), this book is to be edited by Aqueduct Press, in Ursula K. Le Guin's excellent translation. A story in the volume Chimera (1979), "Algernon's Escape"—whose title paraphrases that of Daniel Keyes’s famous novel—brought the author the Europa Award at the Eurocon V Convention (1980). The novel 2000 (1982) was published in German in Munich, as Die Enklaven der Zeit (1986). After 1989, he resumed publishing fiction in his native country: the novels The Hemlock Cup (1994), South vs. North (2001), The Unparallelled Adventures of Anton Retegan and of His Secret Police File (2011), as well as the short-story collection Visions (2007). His play Deus ex Machina was staged in Munich (2005) and Bucharest (2006-2009). Săsărman has published short stories and novellas in magazines, anthologies and collective volumes in Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Japan. In 2012, he was awarded the "Ion Hobana" Opera Omnia Prize by the Bucharest branch of the Writers' Union and the Romanian Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy.