In the tradition of Sándor Márai, Mihail Sebastian is a captivating Central European storyteller from the first half of the twentieth century whose work is being rediscovered by new generations of readers throughout Europe, Latin America, and the United States. The 2000 publication of his Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years introduced his writing to an English-speaking audience for the first time, garnering universal acclaim. Philip Roth wrote that Sebastian’s Journal “deserves to be on the same shelf as Anne Frank’s Diary and to find as huge a readership.”
Outside of the English-speaking world, Sebastian’s reputation rests on his fiction. This publication of The Accident marks the first appearance of the author’s fiction in English. A love story set in the Bucharest art world of the 1930s and the Transylvanian mountains, it is a deeply romantic, enthralling tale of two people who meet by chance. Along snowy ski trails and among a mysterious family in a mountain cabin, Paul and Nora, united by an attraction that contains elements of repulsion, find the keys to their fate.
Praise for The Accident
“With its elegant, sparkling-clear prose, tight structure, and memorable characters, the short novel is a page-turner and, perhaps Mihail Sebastian’s best work of fiction.”—Paula Erizanu, The Calvert Journal
“The Accident, translated by Stephen Henighan, would be a marvel of beauty and control under any circumstance; that it was written by a Jew in Romania in 1940 seems miraculous … The crystalline note of [Sebastian’s] insight, so clear in the novel and so poignantly ironic in Mihail Sebastian’s life, rings out across the decades.”—Wall Street Journal
“Long a respected name in European circles, Sebastian, a lawyer, playwright, intellectual and novelist who grimly suffered through a succession of anti-Semitic cruelties and indignities during the Second World War only to be fatally hit by a truck after the war ended, enjoyed a flurry of English-language attention about a decade ago with the translation of his war-era diary, Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years (which won rare praise from Philip Roth, incidentally, among many others). One hopes this new book, whose lyricism and depth of feeling have been made wonderfully apparent thanks to Stephen Henighan’s elegant translation, will only expand his English readership.”—The National Post
“Mihail Sebastian’s The Accident is a compelling mercurial novel … [It] can be enjoyed for the dynamic, confused love story it presents as well as for its historical relevance.”—ForeWord Review
“A beautifully written and translated story, which brings vividly to life the intellectually and artistically bustling Romania of the 1930s.”—Jewish Independent