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Norman Manea

Self-portrait

In the public arena, Augustus the Fool faces, unavoidably, the Clown of Power. All human tragicomedy may be seen in this encounter, in the history of the Circus as History. In the world-circus the writer - and I see myself as one- seems ill equipped for everyday life in which his fellow men offer and receive their share of credible reality. And yet his

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Biography

Norman Manea is the most translated Romanian contemporary writer. His work has appeared in 20 languages and more than sixty volumes. A prolonged official campaign to discredit him in 1981, the withdrawal on the instruction of the communist authorities of his 1984 Literary Prize of the Writers’ Union of Romania, and the mutilation by the censor of his last novel The Black...

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memories, The Norman Manea author series, Polirom, 2008, 200 pages

Copyright: Represented by The Wylie Agency

Translation rights sold to: contact - mail@wylieagency.com

Book presentation

This interview, given by Saul Bellow to Norman Manea in December 1999, is part of the Jerusalem Literary Project’s Words & Images series, in collaboration with the Ben Gurion University of Negev, Israel.

Saul Bellow, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and one of the titans of American and world literature, looks back over the most important moments of his life, in dialogue with his friend Norman Manea. A first-generation American, descendant of a Jewish family that emigrated from tsarist Russia, Bellow worked his way up from the bottom, unloading coal and wood to help support his family. In his youth, he flirted with the Left. He was married a number of times (once to a Romanian, whence his intimate knowledge of the country, reinforced by a visit to Romania in the 1970s, reflected in the novel The Dean’s Winter). He knew Eugène Ionesco and Mircea Eliade, and paints sparkling and unsparing portraits of them. The interview was given a few years before the American writer’s death, old enough then to look back at his past with irony and detachment, young enough still to become a father one last time…
This dialogue treats the accidental and renders the essential in their true depth and importance. If there is anything that unifies the sections of the book – childhood, family and bohemian beginnings ; the artist and intellectual ; Jewishness ; social struggle and ideas, love and death – it is humor, “the placing of all kinds of strange things in an amusing light,” the comical, the relaxed, subtle and profound way in which Bellow answers questions put to him.

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memories, The Norman Manea author series, Polirom Publishing House, 2008, 520 pages, format 130 x 200 mm

Copyright: Represented by The Wylie Agency

Translation rights sold to: contact - mail@wylieagency.com

Book presentation

A dialogue stretching over more than two and a half decades, starting from an exchange of letters in 1982-83 – during the overwhelming degradation of life in Ceauşescu’s Romania and the anti-Semitism of nationalist communism. This epochal document acquires new meaning in the light of subsequent events, such as the public polemic of 1992 regarding Mircea Eliade and his relationship with the Iron Guard, the controversies about Roger Garaudy and the negation of the Holocaust, the new nationalism and corruption of the Romanian political and cultural post-communist elite – as they appear in the ample conversations in Jerusalem (1999) and at Bard College, New York (2007).
Together all these dialogues reconstruct a restless and exemplary life and reveal its obsessions, from identity and exile to literature and religion, from ethics and aesthetics to the most urgent global issues and dangers of today.

“At different ages and in different places, confronted with different problems and dramatic events, Norman Manea and Leon Volovici have maintained in their conversations the ‘normality of dialogue,’ regardless of the tumult around them, the acuity and persistence of ‘self-questioning,’ and have succeeded, in the end, in presenting Norman Manea, (to use his own expression) ‘converted to himself’.” (Sanda Cordoş)

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poem, The Norman Manea author series, Polirom, 2008, 184 pages

Copyright: Represented by The Wylie Agency

Translation rights sold to: contact - mail@wylieagency.com

Book presentation

A special book, in which the poem Speaking to the Stone, written by Norman Manea in Romanian, after a visit, as guest of honor, to the Jerusalem Book Fair in 2003, is accompanied by translations in ten languages – English (Edward Hirsch and Norman Manea), Hebrew (Yotam Reuveny), German (Ernest Wichner), Spanish (Victor Ivanovici), Czech (Jiri Nasinek), Hungarian (Balász Imre József), Polish (Jerzy Kotlinski), Swedish (Dan Shafran), French (Letiţia Ilea), and Italian (Marco Cugno).

“I sat in front of the white, menacing sheet of paper until I began to write a kind of quasi-poetic ‘address’ in an unexpected rhetorical articulation to the shade of my Father and the shade of Primo Levi, suddenly united and unified. I had not written poetry for many decades, and I am not at all certain whether what was released that sunny New-York Sunday morning was really poetry, but the cadence, at least, was a lyrical murmur, which followed, in that sudden transcription, my thoughts.” (Norman Manea)

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Critics about

novel, The Norman Manea author series, Polirom Publishing House, 2008, 392 pages, format 130 x 200 mm

Copyright: Represented by The Wylie Agency

Translation rights sold to: contact - mail@wylieagency.com

Book presentation

The Hooligan’s Return has already been published in the USA, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, France, China, Israel, and the Czech Republic, and is due to appear in Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Turkey, and Slovenia. The novel has received excellent reviews in the entire American press, has been “Book of the Month” and on the bestseller list in Germany, has received great praise and prizes in Italy, was declared Best Foreign Book of 2005 in Spain, and won the the 2006 Prix Médicis étranger.

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novel, The Norman Manea author series, Polirom, 2008, 296 pages

Copyright: Represented by The Wylie Agency

Translation rights sold to: contact - mail@wylieagency.com

Book presentation

A novel of time suspended, in whose almost musical phrasing nostalgia is interwoven with longing for love and fulfillment. A portrait of a lost young generation confused and oppressed by a bleak, closed society, yet searching for a more human, luminous shore. Above all, it is a story of the thoughts that might have been spoken, of the things that might have been done.

 

“More than three decades after its first edition, Atrium demands of the reader the same deep understanding of the contortions of outraged intimacy whose reconstruction is essayed by writing. The private world of the ‘I,’ the traumatized identities are recreated in the mirrors of the self, with and for the Other – the premise of Norman Manea’s writing.” (Simona SORA)

 

 

 

 

 

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short prose, The Norman Manea author series, Polirom Publishing House, 2008

Copyright: Represented by The Wylie Agency

Translation rights sold to: contact - mail@wylieagency.com

Book presentation

This rich and fascinating volume collects splendid short prose from The Night on the Long Edge (1969), The First Gates (1975), and October, eight o’clock (1st edition : 1981, 2nd edition: 1997). The narratives “A Sentimental Education”, “A Reading in Kinderland” and “Lunar Nights” appear for the first time in a Romanian volume.

 

“Describing and scrutinizing the biographic journey of the same narrator, as central character – in many respects similar, without ever being identical, to the author himself – these linked sketches and novellas can ultimately be seen as a hypothetical ‘Bildungsroman.’ Fragments of a broader epic they immerse the reader in the formation and deformation of a sensibility, from a troubled childhood in a concentration camp or the theatrical revival in the first postwar years to a solitary maturity searching for hope and happiness in the narrow frame of a perverse, Byzantine communist dictatorship.” (Norman Manea)

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