An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence

A burlesque speedy downhill ride into Romanian history.

Victoria has recently returned from Zurich to her hometown Bucharest, where she works as an employee in a bank. With the bank being robbed, things start to change for her: Victoria is given some time off work so she can process the traumatic experience. Her frequent strolls around the city bring back old memories from her childhood during the Ceausescu era and connect with her encounters in todays Bucharest - weaving together a lively portrait of Romania, as well as a book about remembrance.


»Written with a cheerful infectious pessimism.«

»A fundamental novel.«

»A breathless novel, melancholic and absurd-bizarre.«

»It cannot be celebrated enough that her poetry is primed with quiet humor.«

»Colorful and enlightening, fun and thought-provoking at the same time.«

»Dana Grigorcea is an admirable chronicler of a lost time and this is a wonderfully melancholic, whimsical, politically and socially completely incorrect novel.«

»A fast-paced novel in exuberant prose.«

»An ambitious and high-quality work of literary fiction. A rich and rewarding read with a deep vein of dark humour that will work well on the international stage.«

»Maybe Dana Grigorcea is the most interesting, far-reaching discovery of her generation.«

»What a beautiful language. Like a glittering, sparkling object.«

»All ingredients of good literature come together here: Wit, humor, tragedy, poetry, melancholia, grief, misery and love.«

»Simultanously wise and wicked, witty and sad.«

»A satire on media as well as a portrait of the city of Bucharest and a plea for political freedom.«

»A ravishing portrait of Romania.«

»This novel is looking at history, a reckoning with a whole generation and a collection of funny episodes exuberantly told.«

»A wonderfully smooth and shimmering novel about the non-retractable past.«

»One of the strongest creators of German contemporary literature.«

Dana Grigorcea

Dana Grigorcea was born in 1979 in Bucharest. She studied German and Dutch philology in Bucharest and Brussels, Film and Theatre Direction in Brussels and Journalism in Krems. Grigorcea was awarded the 3sat Prize in Klagenfurt at the Ingeborg Bachmann competition 2015 for 'An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence'. Her debut novel, 'Baba Rada. Life is Temporary and So is The Hair on Your Head' has been awarded with the Swiss Literary Pearl 2011. After living in Germany and Austria for many years, Dana Grigorcea now lives in Zurich with her family.