The follow up to Liliana Corobca’s critically acclaimed novel of censorship in eastern Europe, The Censor’s Notebook. Monica Cure, translator of The Censor's Notebook, is the winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2023.
Kinderland unfolds through the letters of a young girl to her absent parents. Her dispatches go unanswered, but they relay to a reader lively tales of cruel pranks and jovial reconciliations, pain and tenderness, despair and hope as these young children grow up alone with sadness, and longing.
With her parents gone in search of work, twelve-year-old Cristina must act as a mother to her two younger brothers. Through her eyes, we roam the streets of a contemporary Moldovan village populated almost entirely with children and old people. Just as most of the inhabitants left their countryside and homes with the desire to earn a better income, their parents also went to the world for money, the mother to Italy, the father to Siberia, and the children were left to fend for themselves. Here the youth must learn to survive on their own; they grow up fast, imitating the gestures of the absent adults, and chasing their fading memories of normal family life.
A novel that deals with a painful true reality, which has over time grown to become a phenomenon: the lives and struggles of children left home alone by parents compelled to work abroad.
"An extraordinary look at life in Europe's edgelands ... full of surprising imagery and beautiful writing ... exquisitely translated by Monica Cure."—The Guardian
"With a gifted and incisive eye, Corobca ably interweaves the innocent gaze of childhood with the harsh reality of the adult world in this startling, evocative novel about those who are literally and figuratively left behind in the global economy."— Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun