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Oprea, Leonard


-Romania-


Birth year: 1953, Birth place: Prejmer - Bra┼čov (Kronstadt)

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     Biography
     LEONARD OPREA (born December 1953) is a contemporary Romanian writer.

He was born in Prejmer, a village in Braşov County in the eastern part of Transylvania, central Romania. He made his studies at the University of Braşov, Romania, and in 1990 he specialized in mass-media communication at the University of California at Chico. Since 1999 he has been living in the USA, currently in Boston, Massachusetts.

Leonard Oprea was an anti-communist dissident in Romania during Nicolae Ceauşescu's dictatorship. Between 1980 and 1987 he published one book and some short stories in the most important literary reviews. These were honored with many national literary prizes. After 1987 the Securitate, the secret police of the Communist regime, officially forbade the publishing of his writings, considering them subversive.

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, living in Bucharest, he became a well-known Romanian writer, journalist and editor. He was able to resume publishing his works: novels, short stories, tales and essays, meditations, etc. He founded the Romanian Publishing House Athena, the Vladimir Colin Romanian Cultural Foundation as well as the Vladimir Colin international awards.


"Leonard Oprea achieves the point of balance between the magnificent constructions of Borges and the mythical and Biblical creations of Paulo Coelho." ( the endorsement of “The
Nine Teachings of Theophil Magus on Transylvanian Magic” )
Mircea Mihaies

Liviu Antonesei, well-known Romanian poet and essayist, who wrote the "Foreword" of " The Book of Theophil Magus or 40 Tales about Man", declared at the end of his essay about this book, that Leonard Oprea "...is a wonderful,a great writer, whom I had the privilege to meet and to know personally.”

Leonard Oprea's"40 Tales About Man" range from the depiction of the everyday to the mythological and Borgesian to the religious. Honored with numbers of prizes in his native Romania, this writer is a true iconoclast and a true talent.
( Adam J.Sorkin - author and essayist) 
    
Bibliography
     Bibliography: Works:
• Domenii interzise (Forbidden areas) short stories and novellas; Albatros Publishing House - 1984, Romania.
• Radiografia clipei (The X-ray of an instant) short stories and novellas forbidden by the Romanian Communist dictatorship in 1987; Dacia Publishing House - 1990, Romania; the second edition with critical references at Curtea Veche Publishing - 2003, Romania; electronic book by “LiterNet” www.liternet.ro/, 2005, Romania.
• Cămaşa de forţă (The Straitjacket) a novel banned by the Romanian Communist dictatorship in 1988; Nemira Publishing House - 1992, Romania; the second edition with critical references at Curtea Veche Publishing - 2004, Romania; electronic book by “LiterNet” www.liternet.ro/, 2005, Romania.
The Trilogy of Theophil Magus – a sui-generis novel:
o Cele Nouă Invăţături ale lui Theophil Magus despre Magia Transilvană (The Nine Teachings of Theophil Magus on Transylvanian Magic) - Polirom Publishing House - 2000, Romania; electronic book by “LiterNet” www.liternet.ro/, 2003, Romania.
o The Book Of Theophil Magus Or 40 Tales About Man (Cartea lui Theophil Magus sau 40 de Poveşti despre Om) - Polirom Publishing House - 2001, Romania. English version, October 2003, edited in the USA by Ingram Book Group/ 1stBooks Library; new edition by AuthorHouse - 2004, USA; electronic book by “LiterNet” www.liternet.ro/ , 2006, Romania.
o Meditaţiile lui Theophil Magus sau Simple Cugetări Creştine la Începutul Mileniului III (The Meditations of Theophil Magus or Simple Christian Thoughts at the Beginning of the Third Millennium) - Polirom Publishing House - 2002, Romania; electronic book by “LiterNet” www.liternet.ro/ , 2004, Romania.
• Theophil Magus – Confessions 2004 - 2006 (“Universal Dalsi” Publishing House, 2007, Romania)
• Theophil Magus in Baton Rouge – a haiku novel (“Xlibris”/Random House Ventures, 2008, USA)
• Trilogy of Theophil Magus – The Truth (“Xlibris”/Random House Ventures, 2008, USA)

Comments: Quotations:
***
In Trilogy of Theophil Magus’ 40 Tales about Man, a great variety of sacred and profane themes, archaic, mythical, contemporary (Moses, Gandhi, Christmas, children, journalism, pilgrimage etc.) serves as vivid stimulation for this literary adventure, written with humor, knowledge and wit… in an inviting dialogue with the reader.
(Norman Manea – novelist, essayist)
***
The Truth, the second book of Trilogy of Theophil Magus is situated in the strange no man’s land where everyday life becomes truly magical. I consider these writings as splendid expressions of a unique vision of our fragmented but marvelously exciting world. Leonard Oprea’s style combines a discovery of hidden meanings of words with a fabulous sense of secret humor. His works received the highest praises from the most influential critics, who rightly compared his vision to works by Thomas Mann, Borges or Paulo Coelho.
(Vladimir Tismăneanu – philosopher, author, essayist)
***
Leonard Oprea’s 40 Tales of Trilogy of Theophil Magus - The Truth, range from the depiction of the everyday to the mythological and Borgesian to the religious. Honored with numbers of prizes in his native Romania, this writer is a true iconoclast and a true talent.
(Adam J.Sorkin – author, essayist, editor)
***
Yes, Leonard Oprea knows how to tell his 40 Tales about Man of Theophil Magus and all the tales of the world because he uses la modification to place his unmistakable fingerprint on each of them. In this, no doubt that Leonard Oprea is a genius “thief” who strangely wants to enlarge the public domain he furtively relishes, not diminish it. I repeatedly asked myself if one can say about a writer who is still alive, whom I had the privilege of knowing, that he is a very good writer, even a great one. I have always had my doubts about it until now - when I braced up and concluded that you can.
(Liviu Antonesei – poet, novelist, essayist)
***
In Romania, Leonard Oprea is a distinguished writer. In my opinion, here in the USA, Leonard Oprea could make a genuine contribution to our current writing landscape. His narrative of his immigrant experience is felicitously captured in his novel in haiku.
(Andrei Codrescu – poet, author, NPR commentator)
***
Theophil Magus in Baton Rouge, to the best of my knowledge, the first novel made up of haiku. In many respects it is reminiscent of the most amazing Central European stylistic virtuosi, and I am sure readers will be delighted to enter this universe of shining plasticity.
(Vladimir Tismaneanu – philosopher, author, essayist)
***
First, there’s no such thing as a haiku novel. At least, not until you’ve read this book. Not until Leonard Oprea thought it could exist. How can anyone think of hailing Jesus in a Japanese poem? In the small space of Leonard’s haiku novel, you’ll be taking a giant leap of fancy. His haiku will envelop you in its grace and will open a magic world, making you dream once again like a child.
(Bogdan Stefanescu – author, essayist, literary translator) 
    
Quotations
     "The Book of Theophil Magus or 40 Tales about Man is situated in the strange no man’s land where everyday life becomes truly magical. I consider these writings as splendid expressions of a unique vision of our fragmented but marvelously exciting world. Leonard Oprea’s style combines a discovery of hidden meanings of words with a fabulous sense of secret humor. His works received the highest praises from the most influential critics, who rightly compared his vision to works by Thomas Mann, Borges or Paulo Coelho."
(Vladimir Tismaneanu, philosopher, author, essayist and editor; backcover of The Book of Theophil Magus or 40 Tales about Man, AuthorHouse - 2004, USA ) 
"In Romania, Leonard Oprea is a distinguished writer. His fiction and non-fiction work was censored during the Communist dictatorship. In my opinion, here in the USA, Leonard Oprea could make a genuine contribution to our current writing landscape."
(Andrei Codrescu - poet, author, NPR commentator, essayist;from amazon.com review of The Book of Theophil Magus or 40 Tales about Man, AuthorHouse - 2004, USA )