The Black Envelope by Norman Manea

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Synopsis

A splendid, violent spring suddenly grips Bucharest in the 1980s after a brutal winter. Tolea, an eccentric middle-aged intellectual who has been dismissed from his job as a high school teacher on "moral grounds," is investigating his father's death forty years after the fact, and is drawn into a web of suspicion and black humor.

"Reading 'The Black Envelope,' one might think of the poisonous 'black milk' of Celan's 'Death Fugue' or the claustrophobic air of mounting terror in Mr. Appelfeld's 'Badenheim 1939.' . . . Mr. Manea offers striking images and insights into the recent experience of Eastern Europe."—New York Times Book Review

 

About Norman Manea

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Norman Manea is the author of, most recently, "The Black Envelope" and "Compulsory Happiness," He teaches at Bard College and lives with his wife in New York City. Lyonel Trouillot is a poet, novelist, and essayist of the post-Duvalierist generation of Haitian writers. Linda Coverdale is a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the award-winning translator of over fifty books, including Trouillot's "Street of Lost Footsteps "(PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize finalist) and Patrick Chamoiseau's "School Days" and "Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows," all available in Bison Books editions.
 
Published April 24, 2012 by Yale University Press. 326 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

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In the classic Stanislaw Lem fashion of Memoirs Found in a Bathtub, Manea formulates Tolea's struggle as one pitted against an obsessive, anonymous bureaucracy bent on ensuring that ``nothing gets lost: everything is transformed-- signs, substitutes, and invisible networks.'' None of this, though...

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Publishers Weekly

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Romanian novelist Manea's fifth book (after Compulsory Happiness) is a dark, enigmatic tale in which a man's investigation of his father's death, 40 years before, is set against the repressions and de

May 29 1995 | Read Full Review of The Black Envelope

Publishers Weekly

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Romanian novelist Manea's fifth book (after Compulsory Happiness) is a dark, enigmatic tale in which a man's investigation of his father's death, 40 years before, is set against the repressions and deceptions of the Ceausescu regime in the 1980s.

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