Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
56 at time of award
Published July 1, 1992

About Norman's Work

Norman Manea is a writer of short stories, novels, and essays dealing with the Holocaust, the trauma of daily life in a totalitarian state, and exile.

Translated into more than ten languages, Manea’s works explore Central and Eastern European studies and culture, Jewish studies, modernity and the writer, ethics and aesthetics under dictatorship, fascism and communism.  His works published in English include On Clowns: The Dictator and the Artist (1992), an essay collection that serves as the intellectual autobiography of an artist under tyranny; October, Eight O’Clock (1992), a series of fictional episodes about a Romanian Jewish boy’s coming of age under totalitarian regimes; Compulsory Happiness (1993), four novellas portraying everyday life in a grotesque police state; The Black Envelope (1995), an exploration of estrangement and human solidarity; and The Hooligan’s Return (2003), a memoir.


Manea is a writer-in-residence and the Francis Flowney Professor of European Studies and Culture at Bard College.  He has contributed commentary on Romanian political events for publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Economist.

Manea received an M.S. (1959) from the Institute of Construction, Faculty of Hydrotechnology, Bucharest, Hungary.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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