“No star deviates from its path…”
Thrown off the train for not having a ticket, Mona finds herself, alone, in a rural town at night. Although she is fashionably dressed, she has no money and nowhere to stay. Fortunately, the local schoolteacher, Marin, invites her to stay at his home while he sleeps over at a friend’s place.
However, an attraction soon develops. Marin, a keen astronomer, reveals that he has discovered a star which is not marked on any star chart. They share a wonderfully happy night together. But their idyll is soon shattered by the arrival of Mona’s boyfriend, Grig. Will Mona choose to return to her old life in the city or settle for a quieter life with Marin?
This play was a hit play in Romania at the time it was written and has subsequently been adapted for film in both France and Russia. Available for the first time in a new English translation by Gabi Reigh.
About the author
Mihail Sebastian was the pen-name of the Romanian writer Iosif Hechter. Born in the Danube port of Braila, he died in a road accident in 1945. During the period between the wars he was well-known for his lyrical and ironic plays and for urbane psychological novels tinged with melancholy, as well as for his extraordinary literary essays. His novel For Two Thousand Years is a Penguin Modern Classic.
About the translator
Gabi Reigh’s translations and fiction have been published in Modern Poetry in Translation, World Literature Today and The Fortnightly Review. She has won the Stephen Spender prize for poetry in translation and was shortlisted for the Tom-Gallon Society of Authors short story award. She is currently engaged in a translation project called Interbellum Series focusing on works from the Romanian interwar period, including the poetry of Lucian Blaga.
Read our exclusive interview with Gabi Reigh.
Introduction by Alex Boican
Dr Alex Boican was born in Bucharest, Romania, and since 1990 has lived in the UK. He studied at Birkbeck College and University College London. He holds a PhD in Romanian literature from UCL, where he is currently a Teaching Fellow in Romanian Literature and Culture. His main interest is in contemporary novelistic representations of class and gender.