Liviu Rebreanu, one of Romania’s most distinguished writers, was born in Transylvania in 1885. Although he intended to study medicine, a lack of money obliged him to enter a military school and he became an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army. It was during this period that he decided to devote his life to writing and in 1908 he obtained his discharge. His first novel appeared in 1920 and was followed by Forest of the Hanged in 1922. He died in 1944; since then his novels have been widely published in Europe, as well as Turkey and China. He was described by the Glasgow Herald as ‘one of the greatest novelists of all time’, and by the Sunday Telegraph as ‘A major author, a prose genius’.