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.


»A fundamental novel.«

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

»Written with a cheerful infectious pessimism.«
De Limburger

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

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

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

»A fast-paced novel in exuberant prose.«

»Simultanously wise and wicked, witty and sad.«
Deutschlandradio Kultur

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

»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.«
Schweizer Radio SRF, 52 Beste Bücher

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

Original Language

German, Dörlemann Verlag

Further Editions

paperback - Ullstein

Available Material

German pdf
English translation


on behalf of Dörlemann
World excl. German

Rights Sold

  • Seagull Books
  • Bulgaria Black Flamingo Publishing
  • Italy Nuova Editrice Berti
  • Netherlands Atlas Contact
  • Romania Humanitas Fiction

© Gunter Glücklich -

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.