Books by Norman Manea

THE HOOLIGAN’S RETURN by Norman Manea
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Milder than fellow exile Andrei Codrescu's The Hole in the Flag (1991), but an affecting exploration of past and present all the same."
A political exile returns to his homeland behind the former Iron Curtain. Read full book review >
THE BLACK ENVELOPE by Norman Manea
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 1995

"Nothing new, but the telling is handled in such a preposterously slippery way that it frequently seems so."
With prose that's alternately tough and tender (Dashiell Hammett meets Rilke), as well as downright wacky, Romanian ÇmigrÇ Manea (Compulsory Happiness, 1993, etc.) offers another of his dense and often caustic views of modern eastern Europe. Read full book review >
COMPULSORY HAPPINESS by Norman Manea
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1993

"Shrewd social insights filtered through a coldly abstracting, largely negative gaze: food for thought, but many will find the taste an acquired one."
In four dark novellas (translated, inexplicably but with the author's blessing, from the French rather than the original Rumanian texts), Manea's absurdist, Kafkaesque sensibility (October, Eight O'Clock; On Clowns—both 1992) again lances and lacerates the cockeyed society of his homeland during the viciously repressive Ceauescu regime. Read full book review >
OCTOBER, EIGHT O'CLOCK by Norman Manea
Released: June 1, 1992

"But just about everything else either repeats that irony (returning to the world and its shortcomings) or loses its point in the sloppiness of Manea's over- or under-ambitious metaphors; as fiction goes, these are abstract, indistinct pieces."
Romanian writer (now Bard College professor) Manea (an essay- collection, On Clowns, Feb. 1992) writes most affectingly in these stories—translated for this volume by six different, mostly slippery hands—of the true central trauma of his own life: deportation to a concentration camp at age five, then survival and repatriation back to a Bukovina laid waste of anything familiar to him. Read full book review >
ON CLOWNS by Norman Manea
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1992

Romanian-ÇmigrÇ novelist Manea here offers a rambling clutch of essays that effectively reproduce the sense of chaos and insecure self-definition that was (and still must be) the lot of the writer-citizen in the slipperiest, perhaps most psychotic of all the pre-1989 European hell-states, Ceausescu's Romania. Read full book review >