Transylvania’s History A to Z belongs to the requests side of my TBR. Patricia Furstenberg contacted me to ask if I was interested in reading her book, and the premise intrigued me. 100 words to tell about Romania, like written snapshots of time? Of course I’m game.
In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.
Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book. Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.
A – Z, 100-Wors Stories are inspired by Transylvania’s history, from the Paleolithic Period to WW1. Each 100 Words Story is followed by a brief historical reference.
The unique beauty of a 100-word story is in the way the words are strung together, each one a gem, and in the spaces left between the words, and between the sentences. So much can be told, with little words. It is a challenge for the writer, and a thrill for the reader, as each time the tale is read, a new detail springs to mind.
“As an armchair historian, I love researching lost tales, traveling, exploring hidden corners, and unearthing new facts, forgotten characters, or hidden clues. I love to give them a voice and to bring them into the light in my tales. Be it people, animals, or the land and its architecture, no detail is too small, no voice is too soft. What was once overlooked now brings history alive in my historical or contemporary fiction books and short stories, such as the 100-Word Stories based on the history of Transylvania.” (Patricia Furstenberg)
Cover: Split covers, ouch.
- Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories delivers what it says on the tin. Tiny stories and poems about Transylvania, inspired by the rich history of Romania.
- High praise—and five!—for the 100 word format. I know first-hand how hard it is to write drabbles, as they need to be poignant and complete at the same time. Forget cliffhangers, forget scenes left hanging, forget descriptions or infodumping: when your word count is that limited, every word counts (pardon the pun). It takes a lot of talent to accomplish what Furstenberg did here, paired with a good dose of imagination.
- The structure of Transylvania’s History A to Z is simple yet interesting. Every story is accompanied by a picture and some historical facts, tying the entire chapter together. My Kindle hasn’t been nice with the pictures, but they’re sharp and picked with care.
- Furstenberg’s prose is concise and well-paced. It seems like something you’d take for granted given the format of the book, but it isn’t. Even a single sentence can drag.
- Last but not least, the editing part. Well done here: while a typo can go unnoticed in a 100k novel, a 100 word story can’t really afford it, and Furstenberg is aware of it.
- Sighișoara, view from the Clock Tower. I like the composition.
- Wooden carvings on a gate, Bucharest.
- Hanul lui Manuc, Bucharest. The brightness of the plants and the contrast with the wood are just beautiful.
- Bran Castle
- Rope Street, Brașov.
4 stars on GR.