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FEATURE: Out of the Transylvania Night, by Aura Imbarus

Out of the Transylvania Night, by Aura Imbarus

“I’d grown up in the land of Transylvania, homeland to Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, and, worse, the Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceauşescu -- who turned Romania into a land of gray-clad zombies who never dared to show their individuality,” says the author, “and where neighbors became informants, and the securitate made people disappear. Daylight empowered the regime to encircle us like starved wolves, and so night had always been the time to steal a bit of freedom. As if bred into our Transylvanian blood, we were like vampires who came to life after sundown!”

In December 1989, Aura Imbarus and her parents were Christmas shopping in Transylvania when sniper fire broke out. It was the beginning of a revolution that challenged one of the most draconian regimes in the Soviet bloc. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife were eventually assassinated, but the Romanian people continued to be plagued by harsh conditions and poverty. Aura was miraculously granted a green card, and she and her husband, Michael, fled to the United States in May 1997. There, they achieved all the trappings of the “American Dream,” with a beautiful home, cars, and more. But when a series of tragedies hit, Aura’s marriage crumbled. In the aftermath, she realized that she must strike a balance between her identity as a Romanian and her life as an American, as well as rebuild the life -- and the love -- she had lost.

With themes ranging from the pursuit of happiness and the American Dream, to the immigration experience and the struggle to “keep up with the Joneses,” Out of the Transylvania Night is a riveting Cinderella story that Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci has said “shows the degree to which we are all willing to live lives centered on freedom, hope, and an authentic sense of self. Truly a love story!”

You can find more information about author Dr. Aura Imbarus at and her book, Out of the Transylvania Night, at


In an epic tale of identity and the indomitable human spirit, OUT OF THE TRANSYLVANIA NIGHT explores tyranny, freedom, love, success, and the price paid for misaligned dreams. An incredibly powerful memoir.

Known for using stand-ins to pose for him, Aura doubts if it was even Ceausescu himself who was killed that night. Nevertheless, when her countrymen topple one of the most draconian regimes in the Soviet bloc, Aura Imbarus tells herself that life post-revolution will be different. But little in the country changes. With two pieces of luggage and a powerful dream, Aura and her new husband flee to America. Through sacrifice and hard work, the couple acquire a home, cars, and travel—but trying to be Americans is much more complicated than they expect. More difficulties set in: the stock market crash takes their savings, house, and cars; thieves steal three centuries' worth of heirloom jewels; and Aura's beloved mother dies.
Aura's marriage crumbles under the stress. Devastated, she asks herself, 'How much of one's life is owed to others?' Tested even further by the vagaries of fate, Aura discovers a startling truth about striking a balance between one's dreams and the sacrifices and compromises that allow for serenity, selfhood, and lasting love. More resolution comes when in 2010, Ceausescu's body is exhumed to answer questions of a cover-up, and Aura can finally lay to rest the haunting mysteries of her past.

About the Author

Aura Imbarus, PhD, is a former popular journalist in Europe, university professor, speaker, and award-winning educator. She is co-founder and ambassador of the Romanian-American Professional Network (RAPN) and the president of its Los Angeles chapter. She is also president of EuroCircle's Los Angeles chapter. Aura was born in Sibiu, Romania. Educated at the famed Octavian Goga High School, she earned a Bachelor's Degree in English and Modern Languages and an MA in English Literature at Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania. She earned her PhD in Romance Languages-Philology under the tutelage of Professor Dumitru Cicio-Pop, PhD, who writes the Foreword for her book. (Dr. Ciocoi-Pop is former president of Lucian Blaga University and Professor of American and British Studies. A popular activist for human rights, he was imprisoned for two years for speaking out against the Communist regime.)  She lives in Los Angeles. or


  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Bettie Youngs Books (August 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984308121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984308125


  1. Thanks for this review. I now want to read this book, and never would have known about it! Love your blog

  2. I think you will enjoy it;)
    Do let me know your thoughts:
    Happy reading!!!!


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