Read an extract from The Lair by Norman Manea on Yale's blog" /> Read an extract from The Lair by Norman Manea on Yale's blog" />

The Lair Norman Manea, Oana Sanziana Marian

The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Publication date:
24 Apr 2012
Yale University Press
336 pages: 197 x 127 x 29mm
Sales territories:

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Set in New York City in the months preceding 9/11, Norman Manea's novel introduces us to the protagonist who, like the author himself, is a Romanian professor in exile and who struggles with loneliness, dislocation, the desire to hide. Yet his difficulties and dilemmas are uniquely his own, and his quest for inner peace - the comfort of a lair - is a literary journey of deep originality.

Manea's novel takes elements of Mittel-Europa atmosphere, Byzantine heritage, Jewish-Greek perennial conflict, labyrinths, and libraries to America, where hierarchies of authority are upended, and where his story turns absurd and ultimately tragic. Manea has described himself as "an adventurer trying to humanize his shipwreck wherever he may be". His hero, too, is such an adventurer. Norman Manea's work places him in the literary family of such writers as Bruno Schultz, Robert Musil, and Franz Kafka. Twice a survivor of totalitarian regimes, he often explores the implications of exile, and he illuminates the human tragicomedy with an intensity matched by no other author writing today.


Read an extract from The Lair by Norman Manea on Yale's blog

Norman Manea is Francis Flournoy Professor of European Culture and writer-in-residence at Bard College. Deported from his native Romania to a Ukrainian concentration camp during World War Two, he was again forced to leave Romania in 1986, no longer safe under an intolerant Communist dictatorship. Since arriving in the West he has received many important awards, including, in 2016, Romania’s highest distinction, the the Presidential Order "The Romanian Star" in the highest level, of Great Officer. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in New York City. Oana Sânziana Marian is a poet, translator, photographer, and filmmaker.

A New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice”

“Compelling”—Tess Lewis, Arts Fuse

“Great imaginative energy . . . an elaborate, intricate, delicate narrative structure, balanced just so . . . The Lair shows us life as a richly incomplete and unresolved experience.”—Reginald Gibbons, TriQuarterly

Longlisted by Three Percent for their 2013 Best Translated Book in Fiction.