Those Who Never Die

A Literary Vampire Novel Set in Post-Ceaușescu Romania

Present-day Transylvania. After studying art in Paris, a young Bucharest artist returns to her home in the Romanian Carpathians. The small town of B., where she had spent every summer vacation during her childhood and teenage years with her great aunt among chandeliers and Persian carpets, was an island where Communism was something to be laughed at.
Today, Communism is long gone and B. has outlived its glory days. Too many have left for good to seek their fortune in Western Europe. The artist returns to a world alien to her, one to which she is solely linked to through a few close friends and the strings that tie up her family history. When a defiled body is found upon the grave of Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula, she decides to tell the town’s story even though it eludes her. While, in the beginning, she is afraid of mixing up the chronological order of events, she eventually comes to realize that every order makes sense. Because a story is not about causes and effects but about one thing only: Fate.
Eerie, profound, archaic. Dana Grigorcea leads her readers to the heart of a horror which can only be conjured in one’s own imagination - or by Count Dracula.


»Grigorcea’s distinctive writing style is rich and textured, with an antiquated feel that is in keeping with the Gothic literary tradition the novel plays with. Those Who Never Die is a thoroughly enjoyable read: delightfully literary and thoughtful (...).«
New Books in German

»Grigorcea's powerful visual and linguistic novel is a horror story, a thriller, and a gloomy portrait of society all in one.«

»Her prose is as if painted with thick brushstrokes, swashbuckling, pleasurable, lush, and humorous.«
Die Presse

Original Language

German, Penguin Verlag

Available Material

German original
English sample


on behalf of Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe
Danish, English, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish

© Mardiana Sani

Dana Grigorcea

Dana Grigorcea was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1979 and lives in Zurich. She came into contact with the German language at an early age because her nanny only spoke German with her and her middle-class family advocated that she attend the comparatively little indoctrinated German school during Ceausescu's dictatorship. Grigorcea studied German and Dutch philology in Bucharest, then theatre and film direction in Brussels and quality journalism in Krems. She worked as a university lecturer and arts editor and has lived in Zurich as a writer since 2011. She has received numerous awards for her novels and short stories, including the 3sat Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition.