DNA Results of the Former Dictator's Body Expected to Crack Open a Long-Held Secret, Says Dr. Aura Imbarus, Author of the Just Released Out of the Transylvania Night

Share Article

"I'd grown up in the land of Transylvania, homeland to Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, and, worse, the Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaus'escu--who turned Romania into a land of gray-clad zombies who never dared to show their individuality," says the Aura Imbarus, "and where neighbors became informants, and the Securitate made people disappear. Daylight empowered the regime to encircle us like starved wolves, and so night had always been the time to steal a bit of freedom. As if bred into our Transylvanian blood, we were like vampires who came to life after sundown. I buried the family jewels, tucked the flag into my sweater and left my outpost to join the action…tonight Ceausescu would die….!"

How much of one's life is owed to others?

Such is the historical sweep and intimate detail in this Pulitzer-Prize entry: In Out of the Transylvania Night, Dr. Aura Imbarus vividly details Christmas Day 1989, when she, her parents and hundreds of shoppers drew sudden sniper fire as Romania descended into the violence of a revolution that challenged one of the most draconian regimes in the Soviet bloc. Aura recalls a grisly execution that rocked the world and led to five harrowing days of bloody chaos as she and her family struggled to survive. The next day, Communist-controlled television released photos showing that Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife had been assassinated--though many Romanians, the author included, believed the executions had been staged since Ceausescu was known for using five stand-ins to pose for him.

Nevertheless, Aura tries to convince herself that life post-revolution will be different, but little changes. On May 7, 1997, with two pieces of luggage and a powerful dream, Aura and her new husband flee to America. Through sacrifice and hard work, the couple acquires a home, cars, and travel--but trying to be American is much more complicated than they expect. More difficulties set in: the stock market crash takes their savings, house, and cars; thieves steal three centuries' worth of heirloom jewels; and Aura's beloved mother dies.

Aura's marriage crumbles under the stress. Devastated, she asks herself, "How much of one's life is owed to others?" and "Is it possible to straddle two cultures and not lose one's identity?" Tested even further by the vagaries of fate, Aura realizes that to resurrect herself, she must reconstruct her life. She becomes involved with the Romanian-American Professionals Network (RAPN), whose mission is to help Romanian immigrants adjust to American life without sacrificing their heritage. Aura discovers a startling truth about striking a balance between one's dreams and the sacrifices and compromises that allow for serenity, selfhood, and a sense of "home." With this new depth of insight, her life begins to resurrect. She reunites with Michael, and establishes herself as an award-wining educator and a leader in RAPN. From the days in Romania when she would stand outside Olympic champion Nadia Comaneci's fence trying to get a glimpse of this international superstar, she is now asked to help Nadia--who herself is now a "Romanian-American"--raise funds for her children's clinic in Bucharest. Aura now sees her life from a more worldly perspective.

"I had to reclaim where I came from," she explains. "I had been so set on blocking out my past and conquering the American dream that I lost sight of me and all that I'd worked for. In reconnecting with my community, I'm energized again, and focused on what is real and lasting in life."

About Aura Imabrus
Aura Imbarus, PhD, is a former popular journalist in Europe, university professor, speaker, and award-winning educator. She is co-founder and ambassador of the Romanian-American Professional Network (RAPN) and the president of its Los Angeles chapter. She is also president of EuroCircle's Los Angeles chapter.

Born in Sibiu, Romania, she earned her PhD in Romance Languages-Philology under the tutelage of Professor Dumitru Cicio-Pop, PhD, who writes the Foreword for her book. (Dr. Ciocoi-Pop is the former president of Lucian Blaga University. A popular activist for human rights, he was imprisoned for two years for speaking out against the Communist regime.) Aura is currently an educator in the Los Angeles school system and a professor in the California College system. She lives in Los Angeles. For more information visit: http://www.AuraImbarus.com /

About Out of the Transylvania Night
Bettie Youngs Books
Released September 29, 2010
302 pages/ $14.95/ ISBN: 978-0-9843081-2-5
http://www.BettieYoungsBooks.com

About Bettie Youngs Books
Bettie Youngs Books Publishers specializes in memoirs…books that celebrate fascinating people and remarkable journeys.

# # #

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Shannon Donnelly

Liam Collopy
Visit website