The Hooligan's Return

A Memoir

Norman Manea; Translated from the Romanian by Angela Jianu

Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks

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The Hooligan's Return is Norman Manea's long-awaited memoir, a portrait of an artist that ranges freely from his early childhood in prewar Romania to his return there in 1997.

In October l941, the entire Jewish population of Manea's native Bukovina was deported to concentration camps. Manea was among them, a child at the time, and his family spent four years there before they were able to return home. Embracing a Communist ethos as a teenager, he becomes disillusioned with the system in place in his country as he matures, having witnessed the growing injustices of dictatorship, and the false imprisonment of his father. But as a writer, Manea wrestles with the fear of losing his native language, his--real--homeland if he leaves his country, though it is clear to him that to stay under such a regime would be well-nigh impossible. Finally, in 1988, he settles in the United States, returning to Romania a decade later.

A harrowing memoir, The Hooligan's Return freely traverses time and place, life and literature, dream and reality, past and present. Beautifully written and brilliantly conceived, this is the story of a writer more interested in ethics and aesthetics than in politics, a literary man consumed by questions of solitude and solidarity.

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Reviews

Praise for The Hooligan's Return

Praise for The Hooligan's Return:

"A fascinating, beguiling record of the almost incredible events that can transpire in one life, especially if that life is lived in twentieth-century Eastern Europe. The Hooligan's Return operates on so many levels that finally it eludes all classifications and reveals itself as art." -- Francine Prose

"We know when we've come on a work of literature that alters, for the rest of our lives, how we see, how we understand even that which we may have believed we understood before. Primo Levi's The Drowned and Saved. The Death of Ivan Illyich. Chaim Grade's My Quarrel with Hersh Rasseyner. Ward Number Six. And now The Hooligan's Return. I am profoundly grateful for this living, flesh-and-blood, yet unearthly memoir." --Cynthia Ozick

"His memoir is the eloquent story of his return to Romania amid academic controversy and lingering questions about his identity. "The return did not restore me," he mourns. "I am an embarrassed inhabitant of my own biography." Perhaps true, but his engrossed readers will likely forgive him." -- Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

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About the Author

Norman Manea; Translated from the Romanian by Angela Jianu

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.

Norman Manea
Angela Jianu

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Hooligan's Return
A Memoir
Norman Manea; Translated from the Romanian by Angela Jianu

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperbacks
January 2005
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780374529468
ISBN10: 0374529469
5 9/16 x 8 11/16 inches, 400 pages
$30.00
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