35 hours in the life of a grown-up girl

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Glasvand is a stinging whimper of a woman who denies what she is.

35 hours of Oana's life, a woman who has been working in the same corporation since graduating from college. Although extremely frustrated of her professional limits, Oana deceives herself into continuing this everyday life. Beneath its apparent superficiality hides a soul eager for appreciation and exposure, but also scared by the judgment of many. She is a person self-taught to be in control and not at all vulnerable to vulnerability. However, the moments of deep awareness make her hope that, if she does not have the courage to break away, at least life will force her to take a step towards herself, towards the one she knows she can become.

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What readers think

“Oana is yet another proof that appearances are often deceiving. Her story, that of a woman who works for a corporation, is admirably and captivatingly recounted, through numerous snapshots of everyday life. Skillfully manipulating the words of Oana’s inner monologue, the writer bursts into the room of the soul, by pushing open the glass doors that conceals it.

In theatre, we sometimes encounter the ‘one-woman show’, a solo performance by a female actress. Glasvand is a one-woman show…dotted across the pages of a book that contains special drawings, which subtly mark a woman’s confessions, one of the many that walk among us. She is but one brick in the wall of a massive building which hosts a corporation.

‘Once upon a time, in a land far, far away’ is how Romanian fairytales and legends begin. However, Glasvand is not a children’s campfire story, but a “documentary film”, which captures moments of everyday life. Their underlayers are not only meant to raise emotion, but also to challenge one to think deeper, to lift the glamorous veil which can sometimes conceal the world around us. Raluca Mihăilă does exactly that in her book, an honest and original ‘journal’ about the people of our day.”

Ileana Lucaciu
theater critic, blogger Spectator

"Only through imagination can you get out of yourself to look yourself in the eye." If you read this before going through the book, you would think it's a hard read to digest. Humor, satire, modern language, petty realities, substance, a lot of substance, clichés, effort and 35 hours of a young woman's life.

A book that you can read in less than 35 hours, breathlessly, and that gets you through all the states, from nostalgia to joy, then to indignation and then to reconciliation, especially if you worked in a corporation, in a place where people are more often than not, numbers.

And yes, it's really hard to digest if you've been working in a corporation for a long time and you feel helpless in the face of what should be an honorable life

Cristina Gheorghe
Managing Partners HR Quality Services

Many congratulations for a literary work with real artistic values.

This book made me smile countless times.

The writing is light, dynamic and uses a fine and very well calibrated irony.

The book, although small, is a fresco of a part of contemporary society, encompassing a whole world, with joys but especially with sorrows and bitterness.

The ending is surprising, with the brilliance of a revelation. It represents a coming back to authentic human values.

Throughout the reading, Edvard Munch's painting "The Shout" was a constant presence in my imagination.

It is the desperate call to a crumbling society, in which there is an unnatural hierarchy of values.

The book leaves a mark, suggesting that the high moral values will, ultimately, prevail.

I look forward to the next book, which I am sure will have a similar note of subtle irony, specific to intelligent and sensitive people.

Aurora Șuteu
inginer

Glasvand is a book that paints a painful reality in Romania today.

And maybe not only here.

It is easy to read because Raluca Mihăilă's style has a lot of humor, even if it is black and bitter.

It's a hard read because it's straightforward.

Brutally so.

Oana is a character who, in the end, has an incredible life changing chance, which she really takes advantage of.

Most women like her do not have this chance.

Or don't take advantage of it.

And that's why I get to meet them in my office, or in my colleagues' (in happier cases) or in my patients' stories, when they complain about their boss, or even their mother.

I would recommend the book to many women and the men around them. It makes you think and, who knows, it can even be therapeutic?!

ANCA DONȚU
Psychotherapist

Life is the most precious gift given to man and we must enjoy it. In the world we live in, it is very easy to miss this joy, forgetting to be alive, just as easily we can let ourselves be guided by pride, glory and appreciation, forgetting ethics and integrity, forgetting to remain human. The book paints these things for you in a rather harsh way, but it just reflects the painful reality.

CARINA

A story about the authentic built in a shell of sarcasm, caught in his struggle for liberation, both clumsy and tenacious.

The documentary of the involuntary self-healing of a Self scratched by too harsh judgments.

A marathon of self-irony, with an optimistic finish.

IOANA GHEORGHIȚĂ
Branding Strategist

You can’t let go of it until it’s over.

A promising debut that made me think of “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” and “Stupeur et tremblements”.

You pull yourself together and then you get lost between the lines, while catching your breath.

I liked the fluency and Oana, whose personality you can’t but notice due to its resemblance to everybody else’s life, will annoy you, and this will actually reveal something about yourself.

A good book should touch you.

MONICA GHEORGHIU
Softelligence

The language of today’s life and the fast pace writing welcoming you from the very first pages of this wonderful book guided me back in time to the Second Viennese school (Zweite Wiener Schule).

The avant-garde language and the revealing ending made me live this experience at maximum intensity, like a musical masterpiece.

CLAUDIA ȘUTEU
Music Teacher, Classical Piano PhD

I enjoyed Glasvand while being captivated by the accuracy of the writing and the consistency of the message. Oana's self-irony relaxed my reading. The almost desperate search for her self-searching convinced me that we should all engage in this journey, regardless our age.

CORNEL CAȚAVEI
Financial Auditor, PhD

A turmoil of events and feelings, a 35-hour story I saw myself in.

There are certain moments in life when routine teaches us a lesson, but we often reach limits that make us want more ... namely the need to control facts and thoughts ... an action acknowledged and full of challenges!

SIMONA MUNTEANU
Entrepreneur | Event planner

Authenticity, sincerity and humor.

LILIANA BICA
Reader

I heard Oana's thoughts in such a clarity that it is hard to describe, like in a (neural) room with perfect acoustics. The words sometimes cut like a scalpel, so the messages are disarmingly sharp and inevitably upsetting. Alternating with empathy infusions, they are excellently dosed.

With the phrase "folding life with windows", I felt vital meanings. Here, I think, the glasvand is decoded, through this separation between feeling and reason, sensory and logical, thoracic and cranial.

The ending took me by surprise by the way the glasvand, finally, breaks. The thoracic and the cranial finally reconcile.

PAULA VASILE
content writer

Raluca Mihăilă

Marketing strategist • Photographer • Writer

I have been a freelancer in the creative industry since mid 2018, with activity in three areas of talent and competence: marketing strategy, concept photography and creative writing.

Prior to this career change I worked for more than 16 years in various local corporations or companies leading departments and projects in Marketing, Strategy, Loyalty, Complex Process Management, Business Development and Sales in the retail, hospitality and real estate industries.

The corporate experience has taught me to document absolutely everything in black and white, but the life I want to believe in tells me that ethics should be the only contract we should ever sign.

I believe that a continuing multidisciplinary education and exposure to non-routine situations support personal growth and displaying of extremely valuable talents and abilities that would otherwise die in us.

I get involved pro bono in various social causes that I believe in and that I hope can change things for the better.

Since I left the convention of working from 9 to 5, I am happy to express myself freely through Photography, Creative Writing and to make more visible my belief in Marketing, through multidisciplinary projects.

I seek that when I speak out loud, thus interrupting the silence to be absolutely convinced that what I have to say outweighs the benefit of silence.

The Decalogue of Maintaining Self-Esteem in a Corporation.

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