Peter Georgescu
Ana Ularu
Lucian Ban

“What I do know, is that I refused to compromise with the system and I was obsessed with preventing my work from being manipulated for their propaganda. Even stories about the Holocaust could have been promoted as anti-fascist stories, which they were in a way, but I didn’t want them to be taken only as such. I remember I had a reading in Berlin in the ‘80s and a man in the audience, asked me: ‘Sir, I read your book, I read the stories, you didn’t say who the oppressors were nor who are the people who are suffering.’ And I said, ‘No, I didn’t.’ It was important to me that a Vietnamese reader reading a story about a young boy who is in a camp, can recognize himself, without me saying: the boy is a Jew, the oppressor is a Romanian, or a Nazi, and so on. I wanted to have a more universal approach.” ― Norman Manea

Norman Manea is a Romanian writer, living in New York City. His writing comprises novels, essays, short prose and his topic is, mainly, the individual destiny in extreme situations (holocaust, communist dictatorship, exile).

Norman Manea received important Romanian, American and European cultural distinctions. He is the Laureate of the Romanian National Prize for Literature and is the first Romanian writer to be granted the American McArthur Fellowship, as well as the Italian international Nonino Prize, the French Medicis Etranger Prize, the German Nelly Sachs Prize, the Spanish Palau Fabre Prize. Member of the Berlin Academy of Art and of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain, he was decorated by the French government with the title of Commandeur dans l`Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. (see Bio-bibliography). He seems to be the Romanian writer mostly honored ever, outside his homeland.

At the celebration of his 75th birthday at Bard College and at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York writers, scholars and publishers from several countries debated and praised the literary originality and the moral core of his creativity. At this occasion, was published in Romanian and English the festive book IN HONOREM NORMAN MANEA: OBSESIA INCERTITUDINII - The OBSESSION OF UNCERTAINTY, Polirom, Romania, 2011, with important literary contributors (Philip Roth, Claudio Magris, Antonio Tabucchi, Antonio Munoz Molina etc.).

Numerous reviews, studies, essays on his work can be found in the main newspapers and cultural magazines in the USA, Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and other countries were his writing was published.

The Polirom Publishing House in Romania started a series of 25 volumes of his work, from which 20 have already appeared.

The Swedish press in 2012 and the French press in 2013 reiterated Norman Manea`s status as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature.

In 2013, the Romanian Writers Union proposed his name as a Nobel candidate, as did – in previous years – the Romanian and Swedish PEN and several scholars in Romanian literature.

In 2014, the Romanian PEN reiterated this proposal.

In May 2016, for his 80th Anniversary, several Romanian cultural institutions organized in Bucharest, at the Library of the Romanian Academy, an ample debate about his life and work, with the participation of important Romanian and foreign writers. It coincided with the attribution of The STAR OF ROMANIA, the highest distinction of the country, granted by the President of the Republic. The Publishing House Polirom and the important cultural magazine Observator Cultural will soon publish a festive volume with this debate.

Library of America recently published "Barney Green Grass", the first chapter of "The Hooligan`s Return" by Norman Manea.

Norman Manea Website

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