Solenoid . . . is a novel made from other novels, a meticulously borrowed piece of hyperliterature. Kleists cosmic ambiguity, the bureaucratic terror of Kafka, the enchantments of Garca Mrquez and Bruno Schulzs labyrinths are all recognizable in Crtrescus anecdotes, dreams and journal entries. That fictive texture is part and parcel of the novels sense of unreality, which not only blends the pedestrian and the bizarre, but also commingles many features of the literary avant-garde. Although the narrator himself is largely critical of literature . . . he also affirms the possibility inherent in the bitter and incomprehensible books he idolizes. In this way, he plays both critic and apologist throughout, a delicious dialectic whose final, ravishing synthesis exists in the towering work of Solenoid" Dustin Illingworth, New York Times "Instead of delivering a sharp, succinct punch, Solenoid goes the way of the oceanicrejecting brevity because the author, a Romanian Daedalus, is laying the foundation for a narrative labyrinth . . . The writing itself is hypnotic and gorgeously captures the oneiric quality of Crtrescus Bucharest . . . Cotters translation is attentive to the efficiency of Crtrescus ornate but surprisingly approachable prose, gliding from sentence to sentence and calling little attention to itself. The sheer immensity of Cotters undertaking combined with the unfailing evenness of the translations quality is nothing short of remarkable." Ben Hooyman, Los Angeles Review of Books "The great fun of this teeming hodge-podge is the way that Mr. Crtrescu tweaks the material of daily life, transmuting the banal into the fantastical." Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal "A masterwork of Kafkaesque strangeness, brilliantly conceived and written." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review) "[S]omething of a masterpiece . . . Solenoid synthesizes and subtly mocks elements of autofiction and history fiction by way of science fiction. The result is unlike any genre in ambition or effect, something else altogether, a self-sufficient style that proudly rejects its less emancipated alternativesThe mesmerizing beauty of creation, of reality giving way to itself: that, above all, lies behind the doors of Solenoid." Federico Perelmuter, Astra Magazine
Mircea Crtrescu is a writer, professor, and journalist who has published more than twenty-five books. His work has received the Formentor Prize (2018), the Thomas Mann Prize (2018), the Austrian State Prize for Literature (2015), and the Vilenica Prize (2011), among many others. His work has been translated in twenty-three languages. His novel Blinding was published by Archipelago in Sean Cotter's English translation. Sean Cotter is a translator and professor of literature and translation at the University of Texas at Dallas. A previous National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, Cotter is the translator of 11 books, including T.O. Bobes Curl and Nichita Stnescus Wheel with a Single Spoke and Other Poems, which was awarded the Best Translated Book Award for Poetry. His translation of Magda Crneci's FEM, a finalist for the PEN Translation Award, was published by Deep Vellum in 2021.