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Cassian, Nina (1924–)

Cassian, Nina (1924–)

Romanian poet, translator and composer. Born Renée Annie Cassian, Nov 27, 1924, in Galati, Romania; m. Vladimir (Jany) Colin (1921–1991, poet), 1943 (div.); m. Al. I. (Ali) Stefanescu (1915–1983), 1948.

Enrolled at Pompilian Institute as a teen, was expelled when fascism took hold in Romania; finished education at a high school for Jewish girls; became a Communist; published 1st verse collection, La Scala 1/1 (1947); as her popularity rose, her work came under political scrutiny by Romanian government which demanded a stylistic change; rather than comply, turned to translating, writing children's books, and composing music; arrived in US to serve as visiting professor at New York University (1985); shortly thereafter, upon learning that a friend, whose diary contained a copy of her unpublished satirization of President Nicolae Ceausescu, had been imprisoned in Romania, requested and was granted US political asylum (her friend was tortured to death). Works include Nica fara frica (Fearless Niki, 1952), Numaratoarea in versa (Countdown, 1983), and Life Sentence (1990).

See also Women in World History.

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