a unique insight into one of the most disturbing periods of modern European history.' Chris McLeod, Man of Water
'It's funny and warm and heartbreaking − as life so often is.' Jayne Pupek, The Tomato Girl
'I find the story quite gripping, and clearly and vividly told, with a mass of illuminating detail.' Helena Drysdale, Looking for George
"What an exceptionally amazing and beautiful book!"
"Its theme reminds one of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago, and is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit
"I think this book is phenomenal... It really is something you have to experience for yourself!"
"Sometimes this story was scary, sometimes sad. Sometimes profound, sometimes lighthearted and funny. I loved every page and cannot recommend it higher." - Cory Banyan *****
"I still have goosebumps on my arm even after I'm done reading! Sad, yet heart-warming at the same time." - April Dawn *****
"I especially loved that this book is based on someone's real life who isn't famous and talking about their fame or latest drug addictions."
-BN, Goodreads, Librarything
"This book is real...it's about what is really real, and what really matters. It gives a grand view of life..."
-BN, Goodreads, Librarything
From the Author
A Q&A with Teodor Flonta Question:
Transylvania: vampires and witches. Have you had any close encounters with either? Teodor Flonta:
Of course. The modern vampires of Transylvania controlled my life, from an early age - and tried to control my mind as well. They were the secret police of the communist regime. Like the vampires in some Western literature, they hated daylight and always turned up after midnight. Another striking resemblance to the vampires from literature was that they were extremely blood-thirsty. Instead of fangs, they had guns; and they travelled in a windowless van called a duba, which for many innocent 'enemies of the people', sadly, led to their being sent home from prison in a coffin.
As to witches, yes, I had a personal encounter at the age of 15, an episode described in the book, that made me less doubtful about their powers. Q:
What prompted you to write A Luminous Future
In one word: injustice. As the son of an 'enemy of the people', I have been subjected unjustly to many iniquities, just as my father and mother were. When you are a child, that is impressed indelibly in your mind.
In more words: I left my Transylvania, physically, at the age of 26 - on the eve of my 26th birthday, as a matter of fact - but I carried its memory with me everywhere I went. The events I lived through there, with my family, have marked me for life; I could never forget them. So, 60 years later, I describe some of them in the book.
Then, these memoirs are part of our family history; I believe it is important that, having grandchildren who have been born into a world so different and so distant from the one I was born into, they should know about my past. Q:
Can you isolate that moment in time when you made up your mind to write A Luminous Future
It's difficult to say, apart from the fact that it happened after I left Romania. I had written bits and pieces over the years, first in Italian, then in English; but I felt I was not getting anywhere. I had to find a voice suited to the story; and
I can pinpoint, to the hour, exactly when I found it. It was when my first grandson was born. His birth brought back memories of all the stories I'd been told about my own birth in Lupoaia - my own grandfather's immense joy, his celebration with the gypsy band, the howling of the wolves in the nearby forest, the Fates and my mother's prophesy about my life. I think it's a joy of biblical proportions when your first grandchild is born, since you are in the presence of something extraordinary - the perpetuation of life, sprung from ancestors long gone, that passes through you and goes beyond your own children to a new generation. The realization that you have lived to see it, with your own eyes, is overwhelming. Q:
What can people expect to take away from your book? TF:
By learning about one of the most repressive regimes in modern times, its methods and its total lack of respect for life - be it human or animal - we can build a better future, making sure that history does not repeat itself. I believe that the more we know about regimes which trample on human dignity and human basic rights, the better equipped we will be to fight those governments which might be tempted to limit our freedom and play havoc with our rights.
Every reader might well take something different from my book, but everyone will surely admire my father's tenacity and resilience in the face of enormous difficulties. Overnight he was turned into a victim, by a criminal regime which wanted him dead and he managed to stay alive. Every time a victim survives such a regime, anywhere in the world, it's a victory for humanity.
Although my father himself had completed only primary school, he understood the value of education. So, when I was confronted with obstacles, from primary school right through university, because of having a father who was an 'enemy of the people', he and Mama were always there to encourage me and to show me what was important and what was not. Their support and their enormous sacrifices were crucial to my being able to continue my studies. My father firmly believed that education was going to be my salvation and he would always tell me that. He was right.