The landscape of contemporary Romanian literature reveals quite a number of works that display both an intrinsic value and an outstanding artistic expression, works, which have also been produced by writers who chose to live abroad as part of the so-called Romanian diaspora. Among the latter group, a special status is held by Alex Amalia Călin who has made her home in New York City, where she has also been a member of “Mihai Eminescu” Book Club.
The autobiographical novel, as a literary genre, is conspicuously illustrated by Amalia’s life story, as presented in her book The Echo of the House of Mirrors. In it, the author raises two existential questions: is it possible that the suffering inflicted by a harsh and unjust fate to be transcended by achieving serenity and even happiness? Is it also possible that the urge to forgive would ultimately secure one’s peace of mind? Resorting to a racy narrative, often interspersed with heart-rending cogitations, the author leads us into the labyrinth intricacies of her childhood years marked very soon by the alienating frustrations of her youth. What follows during her adult life span is the attained happiness and thereby an ability to provide definite answers to the above-mentioned questions: yes, inner freedom and fulfillment can be attained by means of sheer will power and fortitude, as well as by never-ending introspection coupled with unrelenting self-probing. The joy of being alive may prevail by initiating a step-by-step development of one’s spirituality, which in itself provides the wherewithal for achieving a multifarious existence. Battered by the oceanic turmoil of life, Alex Amalia Călin emerges as a winner, and her autobiographical novel, likewise, as a superlative example of her stupendous determination to take full control of her own life. The echo reflected by the mirror of her soul, a protracted mirage reinforced by a deeply felt yearning, has turned into a reality acknowledged with upright dignity.