Burying the Typewriter

Burying the Typewriter
A Memoir
Carmen Bugan

“[Bugan] has a sharp eye for psychological nuances, including her own as she turns from reluctant dissident’s daughter to believer in her father’s demands for political freedom.”—The Boston Globe

“Poet Bugan’s memoir mixes tender and tough observations, mirroring the contradictions of growing up in Romania in the 1970s and ’80s.”Publishers Weekly

About the Book

Winner of the Bakeless Prize for Nonfiction, a childhood memoir of political oppression and persecution during Romania's Ceausescu years
Carmen Bugan grew up amid the bounty of the Romanian countryside on her grandparent's farm where food and laughter were plentiful. But eventually her father's behavior was too disturbing to ignore. He wept when listening to Radio Free Europe, hid pamphlets in sacks of dried beans, and mysteriously buried and reburied a typewriter. When she discovered he was a political dissident she became anxious for him to conform. However, with her mother in the hospital and her sister at boarding school, she was alone, and helpless to stop him from driving off on one last, desperate protest.

After her father's subsequent imprisonment, Bugan was shunned by her peers at school and informed on by her neighbors. She candidly struggled with the tensions of loving her "hero" father who caused the family so much pain. When he returned from prison and the family was put under house arrest, the Bugans were forced to chart a new course for the future. A warm and intelligent debut, Burying the Typewriter provides a poignant reminder of a dramatic moment in Eastern European history.

Additional Reviews

“Bugan’s memoir doesn’t mean to answer the question of whether fighting for freedom trumps family . . . but, instead, shows a child’s unwavering loyalty to the universe in which she grew up.”—Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“When the police arrested her father for anti-communist activities in 1983, Carmen Bugan's idyllic life in the Romanian countryside was upended. . . . [Burying the Typewriter] sheds light on little-known chapter of history.”—Barnes & Noble Review
"[Bugan is] striking powerful blows against repression, silence, and oblivion."—Joan Wickersham, The Boston Globe