Skip to main content
Cover for Women


A Novel

Mihail Sebastian, Philip Ó Ceallaigh (Translated by)


List Price: 15.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (8/18/2020)


A rediscovered classic from the author of For Two Thousand Years, this remarkable novel presents nuanced snapshots of love in the early twentieth century.

Stefan Valeriu, a young man from Romania who has just completed his medical studies in Paris, spends his vacation in the Alps, where he quickly becomes entangled with three different women. We follow Stefan after his return to Paris as he reflects on the women in his life, at times playing the lover, and at others observing shrewdly from the periphery.

Women's four interlinked stories offer moving, strikingly modern portraits of romantic relationships in all their complexity, from unrequited loves and passionate affairs to tepid marriages of convenience. In the same eloquent style that would characterize his later, more political writings, Mihail Sebastian explores longing, otherness, empathy, and regret.

Praise For Women: A Novel

“A compelling portrait of desire in its many convoluted manifestations.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Perceptive and affectionate…these concise stories…showcase Sebastian’s brilliant eye for emotional detail.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise for For Two Thousand Years:

“Remarkably pertinent to our time and place...elegiac and lyrical.” —New York Times Book Review

“Scintillating...a fiery coming-of-age story introduced to the combustible material of extremist politics.” —Wall Street Journal, The Best New Fiction

“Nothing I have read is more affecting than Mihail Sebastian's magnificent, haunting 1934 novel, For Two Thousand Years.” —Philippe Sands, The Guardian, Best Books of 2016

For Two Thousand Years wonderfully captures the sense of prewar Romania in all its sophistication, its beauty, and its horror…I love Sebastian’s courage, his lightness, and his wit.” —John Banville, author of The Sea
“Eerily prophetic…a brilliant translation of a most unusual novel.” —Irish Times
“Mordant, meditative, knotty, provocative…More than a fascinating historical document, it is a coherent and persuasive novel…Philip Ó Ceallaigh’s translation is highly convincing and sweeps us along with its protagonist’s emotional shifts.” —Financial Times
“One of the most unusual, seductive, and beautiful books I’ve read in years. It has lightness of touch coupled with astonishing range…Like any classic of a type we’ve not seen before, it is a book which needs to be read and reread and which, over years, will become a reliable friend for life.” —Jewish Quarterly
“Philip Ó Ceallaigh has succeeded in preserving the unique mixture of alienation, ennui, and barely disguised anxiety that marks Sebastian’s prose…the long sections written in diary form…are not just memorable, they are overwhelming.” —Times Literary Supplement
“Complex, unsettling…Sebastian seldom provoked indifference in his readers. That is why he belongs in the pantheon of classic authors.” —New Statesman

Other Press, 9781590519547, 192pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

About the Author

Mihail Sebastian was born in Romania in 1907 as Iosef Hechter. He worked as a lawyer and writer until anti-Semitic legislation forced him to abandon his public career. Having survived the war and the Holocaust, he was killed in a road accident in early 1945 as he was crossing the street to teach his first class. His long-lost diary, Journal 1935–1944: The Fascist Years, was published to great acclaim in the late 1990s.

Philip Ó Ceallaigh is short-story writer as well as a translator. In 2006 he won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His two short-story collections, Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse and The Pleasant Light of Day, were short-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He lives in Bucharest.