Author & Publisher: Domnica Radulescu and Deb Futter
Tuesday April 12, 2016
Domnica Radulescu, author of the popular Train to Trieste, joined us to celebrate her new book Country of Red Azaleas, about the bond between two women that crosses war, cultural conflict and two continents. Radulescu was joined in conversation by Deb Futter, publisher of the groundbreaking imprint Twelve and Vice President, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Central Publishing.
About Country of Red Azaleas A riveting novel about two women-one Serbian, one Bosnian-whose deep friendship spans decades and continents, war and peace, love and estrangement, in the vein of Elena Ferrante and Julia Alvarez.
From the moment Marija walks into Lara's classroom, freshly moved to Serbia from Sarajevo, Lara is enchanted by her vibrant beauty, confidence, and wild energy-and knows that the two are destined to be lifelong friends. Closer than sisters, the girls share everything, from stolen fruit and Hollywood movies as girls to philosophies and even lovers as young women. But when the Bosnian War pits their homelands against each other in a bloodbath, Lara and Marija are forced to separate for the first time: romantic Lara heads to America with her Hollywood-handsome new husband, and fierce Marija returns to her native Sarajevo to combat the war through journalism behind Bosnian lines.
In America, Lara seeks fulfillment through work and family, but when news from Marija ceases, the uncertainty torments Lara, driving her on a quest to find her friend. As Lara travels through war-torn Serbia and Bosnia, following clues that may yet lead to the flesh-and-blood Marija, she must also wrestle with truths about her own identity.
Told in lush, vivid prose, Country of Red Azaleas is a poignant testament to both the power of friendship and our ability to find meaning and beauty in the face of devastation.
Domnica Radulescu is a distinguished professor of French and Italian literature at Washington and Lee University, a Fulbright scholar, and an award-winning playwright. She escaped the Communist dictatorship in her native Romania in 1983 and settled in the United States as a political refugee. Radulescu is also the author of Train to Trieste, which won the Library of Virginia Fiction Award.
Deb Futter, publisher of Twelve and Vice President, Editor-in-Chief of Grand Central Publishing, has acquired numerous bestselling and acclaimed books including Scott Turow’s Innocent and Identical, Ellen DeGeneres’s Seriously, I’m Kidding, Carole King’s memoir A Natural Woman, and Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty, since coming to GCP in 2007. Among the books she has acquired for the Twelve list are Living with a Wild God: A Memoir by Barbara Ehrenreich, Drinking in America by Susan Cheever, Let’s Be Less Stupid by New Yorker writer Patricia Marx, and Twenty-Six Seconds by Alexandra Zapruder. Futter joined GCP eight years ago after spending 25 years at various imprints at Random House. Some of the authors she edited there include Deborah Tannen, Peggy Orenstein, Pete Dexter, Jonathan Dee, Katie Couric, Dani Shapiro, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Patrick McGrath, Chitra Divakaruni and Jane Hamilton, among many others. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Columbia University’s Writing Program, where she received an MFA.