life rattle show no. 1383

Presented on Wednesday, october 25, 2017


hosted by guy allen


"The Magicians"
by Susanna Man

Life Rattle Show No. 1383 is the first of two podcasts featuring stories from
new Life Rattle writer, Susanna Man.

Susanna Man was born in Gheogheni, Romania, in 1978. Gheorgheni is a village high in the Carparthian Mountains. At the time Susanna was born, about 95% of Gheorgheni’s 20,000 citizens, like Sussanna, were Hungarians. Mixed with the Hungarians were some Romanians and some Roma. I looked up Gheorgheni on the Internet and saw a place of mountain beauty and old world visual charm, like something out of an old European storybook with folk stories of werewolves and potions and vampires.

Many of Gheorgheni’s young people, like Susanna and her husband, Lehel, emigrated to other countries to find jobs. Susanna and Lehel came to Canada on Skilled Workers visas in 2008. Lehel is a veternarian , and Susann has a position as a language instructor for newcomers at Sheridan College. Susanna and Lehel have two children, boys 4 and 2 years old.

When I first read Susanna’s writing, I thought, “Whoa, who is this person who writes so well?” I eventually came to know that Susanna has been writing for a long time in both Hungarian and English and she is an experienced and a skilled writer. The two stories we will hear on this podcast take place in Romania.

"The Magicians" tells us about an experience Susanna had as a university student working in small travelling troupe that put on puppet shows for people living in remote villages in the Carpathian Mountains. “The Magicians” surprises us with the extraordinary feeling this little puppet show inspires in a small, isolated rural Romanian village.

"Rat," Man's hilariously surreal second story, is also set during her university days in Romania. When she takes the bus to visit her boyfriend, now her husband, in a nearby town where he attends veterinary college, an eccentric roommate spoils the privacy ardent lovers crave. Like “The Magicians,” this story has a surprise but hardly the inspiring magical kind we find in the musicians.