From the author of the award-winning The Censor’s Notebook, Kinderland is a novel about children whose parents have departed for employment in foreign lands, told through the perspective of a young girl who is responsible for her two brothers.
"Corobca's novel not only reports with tenderness and wit on the pain and patience of abandoned children, it also traces the economic, social and moral decay of the rural milieu with wide awake realism."
—Andreas Breitenstein, New Zurich
With her parents gone in search of work, twelve-year-old Cristina must act as a mother to her two younger brothers. Through her eyes, we experience the feeling of wonderment and loneliness as they roam the streets of a contemporary Moldovan village. Her mother has gone to Italy, her father to Siberia, and the children grow up fast, imitating the gestures of the absent adults, and chasing their fading memories of normal family life.
Kinderland is the second novel by Moldovan novelist Liliana Corobca to be translated into English. The first was The Censor’s Notebook (2022), which won the prestigious Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2023, remarkably so since it was also the translator, Monica Cure’s, first attempt at a book-length translation. Kinderland showcases Corobca's signature ability to present grimness in a way that is also so full of life and a love of people, and a kind of curiosity that's gentle and forgiving of people's strangeness.