The Black Envelope

The Black Envelope

by Norman Manea
     
 

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Shot through with black humor and poetry, 'The Black Envelope' is a thoroughly modern exploration of love and guilt, vulnerability and death, estrangement, hope, and human solidarity.  See more details below

Overview

Shot through with black humor and poetry, 'The Black Envelope' is a thoroughly modern exploration of love and guilt, vulnerability and death, estrangement, hope, and human solidarity.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. Having been fired from his teaching post at a provincial high school for vaguely defined trespasses against young boys, Anatol Dominic Vancea Voinov, called Tolea, works as a receptionist at a tourist hotel in Bucharest, where he makes a career out of mocking his less educated colleagues. When the ever-difficult Tolea learns he may lose even this job, he pointedly embraces folly and takes a vacation. The majority of the tale concerns Tolea's searches: for the head of a nefarious association of deaf and mute people, whose physical disabilities mirror the moral ailments of Communist Romania; for a photographer, whose work documents the unofficial, but real, life of the country; for coffee; and even for a scratch over an eyebrow. Writing carefully, Manea generates fresh, artful sentences easily, but he is also gnomic, as if reluctant to make things too easily understood. However, frequently beautiful language (even in translation) and the distinctive melancholy humor of Manea's voice amply reward a diligent reader's concentration. (June)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300182941
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Series:
Margellos World Republic of Letters Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.75(h) x 2.27(d)

What People are saying about this

Edward Hirsch
The Black Envelope is a vortex of imponderables: an elusive mystery story, a penetrating x-ray of Romania in the 1980s, a Kafka-esque parable of a world turned upside in our nightmarish century. It's an enigmatic and deeply compelling novel.

Meet the Author

Norman Manea (born July 19, 1936) is a Jewish Romanian writer and author of short fiction, novels, and essays about the Holocaust, daily life in a communist state, and exile. He is a Francis Flournoy Professor of European Culture and writer in residence at Bard College. He currently lives with his wife in New York City.

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