Doina Ruști


"Full of humor in some sequences, in other tragic and ferocious, sometimes fantastic and luminous, like a Chagall painting, which is predominant in this wonderful story [ "Zogru"] is the figure of the terrible loneliness in which lies the human spirit ".

The Phantom is the narrative catalyst that makes secret forces manifest, especially those of a sexual nature, being also the most visible, single faith, dissolved in the last part of the novel (the novel "The Ghost in the Mill").

“Mâța Vinerii” - “a stylistic jubilation, a vital literature, such as Suskind's Perfume to a point, and Evgheni Vodolazkin's Laur, from another point on”.

The novel Eliza a los once años by Doina Ruști has exceptional literary qualities

The great novel like Camus's The Plague.

Lizoanca is a groundbreaking book written in a style refined and nuanced.

Even the Smallest Detail of the novel is veridical ...

A wonderful story, impeccably written.

Doina Rusti is an excellent prose writer, of great talent and intuition;

As regards the literary value of the novel Lizoanca at the age of eleven, I think it is one of the most outstanding in current literature. The narrative intelligence, the fluidity of action, the invariably astonishing eloquence of the text, the shortness, the characters'pithiness, the accuracy of gestures, highly defining within a scene (approached shortly and directly, no introductions, sometimes hardly drafted auctorial reflections) and the way each short chapter enters into the whole - are hall-marks of a great novelist.

In my opinion, the confidence, the artistry of portrayal, the exact and original description of the environment, the quest for a subtle epic crescendo, the illusion of stagnation make Doina Ruști a first class prose writer in current literature.’

... I do not have much time for reading ... but it was enough to open one and I could not close it until I read it through. The other book struck me down, too. Doina Ruști is an excellent prose writer, of great talent and intuition.

The product of a powerful original prose writer, a rara avis in post communist Romanian literature, The Ghost in the Mill is not only a first-rate literary event of the current year, but also one of the most convincingly poignant works of fiction addressing the topic of local communism to be published during the last decade.

The Ghost in the Mill is an imaginative novel, in line with autobiographical fiction, in which magic realism and daily realism intertwine. [...] This mill, which is an axis mundi, the center, the hearth and the obsession of the village, where the character has no clue if he has met the angel or the devil, this mill is the place where a murder occurs, as at the dawn of all worlds: a certain Max, an epileptic, is killed by mistake [...] and everybody is obliged to keep silent, thus becoming accomplices in the murder. We have all been accomplices in what has defined and punished us. This is the parable of communism. A novel with substance, a sinewy prose which, I repeat, equals a part or several parts of Cărtărescu’s Orbitor”.

Doina Ruști has the vocation of a builder constructor, the capacity to build a meaningful narrative and exuberant imagination. If asked to recommend certain characters, pages or sequences from the second part of The Ghost in the Mill, I wouldn’t know which to mention first, because almost all of them are remarkable.

The Ghost in the Mill is, from my point of view, the best novel published last year.

The characters drawn by Doina Rusti are incredibly genuine: the author has the rare gift of seeing things both in a synthetical and a contingent way, including detail within the portrait. The core of the novel is the second part: The Mill, being slightly over 200 pages and exceptional. It is this time-space condensed sequence that reveals the great qualities of the author; these are the narrative construction and the capacity to suggest the texture (substance) of a certain humanity.

Her talent does not necessarily stand for her ability to build phrases, but characters and situations which are not only convincing, but also give you the sentiment of contingency.

The theme of communism suits very well with such a gifted writer, the demoniacal history of the terrible 45 years that Romania has undergone in the isolated space of a village.

Doina Rusti joins the elite of our still youthful prose writers with her third novel, both ambitious and masterful. (...)

The whole construction is remarkable: the epic matter, both dense and fluid, typologically diversified and symbolically rearticulated; the varying rhythm, alert or slow, of the narrative; the clever assemblage and great control. And above everything, an obvious artistic maturity.

The Ghost in the Mill is, without any doubt, one of the landmarks of Romanian contemporary prose, because of the technical clearness of the writing which simulates innocence, the morbid-exuberant imagination and, last but not least, the convincing manner in which it revisits the totalitarian period, with tender detachment, obsession for details and understanding.

The novel [Zogru] is filled with an atrocious realism, showing a vision as veridical as possible strictly of contemporary reality, but it escapes in the fantastic in a way as natural as Marquez’s famous Remedios was rising to the sky while she was hanging the laundry to dry." (Horia Garbea in Saptamana financiara Journal, March 27th, 2006).

  "The fabulous, the miraculous, the supernatural blend with the petty history, in detail, even in the day-to-day life. A substantial and gripping novel, an altogether unwonted presence on the current literary stage.

"The protagonist [The Ghost in the mill ] is indeed a scepter, hidden in a ruined mill, a topos of horror, but an obsessive attraction for people of Comosteni-village. In several hundred pages, the novel exposes the story of a family and many individual micro-narrations. The characters are transformed in kafkian style under the influence of totalitarian system, so that the final section, entitled Two days, is a delta for all wild rivers of life with the flavor of burnt rubber.”

"Writing The Ghost in the Mill in order to exorcise the haunting spectre of communist times,
Doina Ruști marks an interesting break with the Romanian literary tradition. In tune with
international trends, she follows the pattern of ghost stories to reactivate a dreadful past that would not be stifled or silenced. Through the intrusion of unexplainable spectres in the life of a rural community under dictatorial rule and through the central image of a threatening and luring old mill, Ruști manages to create a Gothic novel born out of a history of fear, secrets, betrayal, guilt and broken ties. In so doing, she moves beyond the magic realism to which many writers resorted in the late communist and early post-communist period in an attempt to escape the levelling pressure of socialist realism and the censorship that came along with it. Although her use of Gothic themes and motifs represents a deviation from both old and new Romanian literary norms, which have never really accommodated the genre, the negotiation of the collective past with the tools provided by the Gothic ultimately proved successful, bringing the author high critical acclaim and international recognition. Ruști capitalizes on the genre’s interest in individual trauma and unrest, in the shattered autonomy of the individual, in the loss of coherence, wholeness and in fragmented consciousnesses, in failed relationships, oppression and suffocating anxiety. She deftly adapts the seemingly unlikely Gothic toolbox to Romanian social realities before December 1989, making the most of the genre’s tried and tested disquieting, disruptive potential"

Doina Ruști is the same prose writer of driving force, of a misleading volubility able to drag out ambiguous effects from the most low-pitched prosaism.’ (Gabriel Coșoveanu, România literară, 8 iulie, 2011)

In her novels, Doina Rusti creates scenarios and psychologies that unreel like the windows of a hypertext.’ .

Doina Ruști is a writer who always breaks out from reality restraint, in order to flow, like Aladin, on the enchanted carpet of imagination. Her prose provides all reasons to get confused, and a superficial reader stands the risk to remain prisoner or disenchanted at the sensational level of the topic. This seems to be the case with the recent novel, For men plus Aurelius (Polirom Publishing House, Iași, 2011), a story with literary fast-food ingredients: into a thriller, characters with no psychological depth, an alert simplicity of the narration.