Book Review: “The Lair” — The Intoxicating Trauma of Exile

July 6, 2012
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Norman Manea’s compelling novel “The Lair” tracks the ambiguities, contradictions, and confusions of the exile’s psyche as he struggles to find footing in surroundings that are often unintelligible. It is a highly cerebral, labyrinthine book, filled with mystery, paranoia, and illegible codes.

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Norman Manea on The Lasting Poison of Stalinism

January 22, 2009
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Norman Manea wants a nuanced moral reckoning of the sins committed in the Stalinist past. by Bill Marx In a recent World Books podcast I talk to Romanian-born essayist and novelist Norman Manea about his article, “A Lasting Poison,” which was published last month in the “New Republic.” In his commentary, Manea explores the recent…

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World Theater: Sucked Dry, or Let Romania Speak for Itself

November 1, 2008
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By Bill Marx Earlier this month, Horace Engdahl, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, stoked up the cultural consternation machine when he implied that American writers are too provincial to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. American literary life is “too isolated, too insular” he opines, its writers don’t translate particularly well and they aren’t…

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