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.Start reading
“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.”
"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
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Authenticity, sincerity and humor.
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.
1. "Pride has an important role, along with fear."
Never forget about yourself, your needs and your rights, even if you are afraid of the consequences.
2. "If it’s not written, it doesn’t exist"
Don't be ashamed to document everything in writing. You will sleep more peacefully and you will not have disappointments or worries about finding trustworthy people.
3. "We all depend on each other."
Newsflash: systems are made up of people and people make up systems. We are not alone in the world and it is OK. Don't be afraid to ask for help or pretend you don't know. It's worse to say you know and mess it up.
4. "Do your part to contribute to a better world."
Yes, you can, whatever the conditions. Solutions, not excuses.
5. "How is it possible we fall victims of other people’s incompetence? God forbid you are beautiful and smart, because that’s the sure way to disaster."
You are the ultimate victim of your own mind. Stop relating to others to find out you exist and matter.
6. "The problem in life is not that you have to negotiate, but to make sure you don't end up negotiating with people you have nothing to receive from. "
Choose your battles and negotiate your positions well.
7. "How is it possible to witness so much incompetence?"
Those who pull you down are already below you.
8. "I’ve been waiting for so long to be seen at my true value! "
Stop waiting, start believing! Validation does not start with others, even if we need them in our lives.
9. "Ethics for the sake of ethics is like art for the sake of art: it brings neither money nor reputation. So it doesn't exist."
Fake. Ethics moves mountains and keeps us sane. It does not make us popular, but it keeps us humane and makes us worthy. It is essential and should be non-negotiable.
10. "Control is an illusion."
It really is. A big one. The biggest. Along with the status imprinted on the business card (if you ever comfort yourself with that piece of cardboard).