Cătălin Mihuleac, born in 1960 in the northeast Romanian city of Iaşi, studied geography, geology, biology, and at the faculty of economics at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University. He spent six years working as a geologist. In 1991, he began working as an editor for diverse print media outlets and the radio.
Mihuleac has published satirical texts in numerous Romanian magazines, including »România literară«, »Ziarul de Duminică«, »Orizont«, »Dacia literară« and »Cronica«. In 1995, his story »Universitatea Matilda« was published »Timpul« magazine. His novel »America de peste pogrom« (2014; tr: America throughout the Pogrom) is about two Jewish families and is based on true historical events. On June 29, 1941, an exceptionally brutal pogrom was carried out in Mihuleac’s hometown, where over 13,000 people died within a few hours – at the hands of Romanian policemen, soldiers, and civilians, which remains a taboo topic in Romania today. On the one hand, we have Oxenberg the gynecologist, a master of the cesarean section, and his family, who are increasingly confronted by anti-Semitism in Iaşi at the end of the 1930s. On the other hand, there is the young Suzy, an accountant at a shopping center in modern Iaşi, who is meant to show two American tourists the city and eventually marries into their family. Over time, Suzy learns more about the history of her new relatives, the Bernsteins. Their ancestors are also from Iaşi, but they were able to flee and emigrate before the wave of anti-Semitism hit. At the end of the novel, the two narrative threads become unexpectedly tangled: since the Bernsteins became wealthy in the vintage clothes business in America and are now opening a new branch in Iaşi, the Romanians who live there are now wearing vintage clothes from a Jewish trader – after having murdered and stolen the clothes of Jews seventy years earlier. Mihuleac opts for a ribald, burlesque narrative style that, despite an initially positive reception, was criticized by booksellers and reviewers: »I was reproached for the tone of the book. One couldn’t speak like that about the Holocaust. But a book written by a no-name like me could only break through with this kind of rudeness.« »Oxenberg & Bernstein«, Ernest Wichner’s German translation of »America de peste pogrom«, was nominated for the 2018 Leipzig Book Fair Prize.
Today, Mihuleac is an editor for »Timpul« magazine and lives in Iaşi and in Normandy.