September 8, 2018
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NICOLAE SPĂTARU is a native of northern Bukovina, a region that was part of Greater Romania, but which was incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic during the Second World War. Brezhnev-era rural Bukovina, which provides the setting for a number of the short stories collected in The Angel Wore a Miniskirt (2015), is both timelessly bucolic and very much of the Cold War period: in the story And the Moon Was Full, for example, some local peasants literally die of fright on learning that Comrade Brezhnev has died, sure as they are that nuclear war is now imminent. In Snake Times, the narrative voice subtly combines irony, sly humour, faux naïveté, and poignant nostalgia.