My real name is Adrian-Ion Schiop, but I go by the pen name Adrian Schiop, which is also the name of the main character in my novels. I was born in Porumbacu de Jos, a village in Sibiu county, at the bottom of the Făgărași mountains, by the river Olt, where I first went to primary school. In 1997 I graduated from the Faculty of Psychology and Science of Education at the Babeș-Bolyai University and I went on to do a Master’s degree in Linguistics at the same university. In 2014 I completed my Ph.D. in Sociology at the National School for Political and Administrative Studies on the subject of manele, with the title Cunningness in an Envious World. The Social Universe of ‘Manele’ Ethno Pop. My professional path includes five years as a Literature high-school teacher (mostly at an industrial high-school in Cluj) and another five years as a cultural journalist (mostly at the România Liberă newspaper). Presently I am working for the Museum of Roma Culture which was recently created in Bucharest.
As a writer I made my debut in Fracturi magazine with a fragment from my first novel, pe bune/pe invers, which was published two years later by Polirom publishing house. Since then I have published two other novels, Zero Grade Kelvin (Polirom, 2009) and Soldaţii. Poveste din Ferentari (Polirom, 2013) which centers on a romantic affair between a journalist-anthropologist and 34 year old former convict who spent most of his formative years in jail (between the ages of 15 and 30). Soldaţii has won two prizes for best novel of the year 2014, from the weekly magazine Observatorul Cultural and from the Book Industry Gala and has gathered overwhelminghly positive reviews. Also as an art project, in 2009 I organized a party with the support of the National Dance Center at the National Theatre in Bucharest, which was, I believe, the first manele party for hipsters and the intelligentsia; as well as a public debate, featuring Ion Grigorescu, also at the Dance Center, in 2011, when the artist told me that the only way to make money, if that is what I want, is to forget about it, because this is how things are, the only people who make money are those who don’t want it.
I am also a collaborator of Criticatac online magazine, for which I authored a few articles, including How Romanian Elites Burried Manele. A Cocalari Story (2010), about the moral panic surrounding the manele phenomenon, which has had quite an effect in terms of informing future debated in intellectual milieus.