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The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  14 reviews
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 th
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 3rd 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2003)
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Nothing is incompatible in Romania.

In 1986, at the age of 50 and three years before the fall of communism in Romania, Norman Manea decided to emigrate abroad, first to Germany, later reaching the final destination - The Paradise, The Other World, The United States. He was to come back one decade later, in 1997.
The return visit, awaited with doubts and apprehension, awakens memories from his previous life. Through a non-linear chronology and convoluted narrative, he slowly reconstructs the ima
Norman Manea is a well known Romanian author who lives in the US since the late 1980's after leaving Romania in 1986; he is also of Jewish origins and had the misfortune of being deported in 1941 as a 5 year old child to Transnistria from where his family returned in 1945.

While i was aware of his work and read some of his essays, I never really looked carefully at his books until this year's The Lair (his new novel originally published in Romanian in 2010 as Vizuina) appeared on Net galley and
Care mai sînt conotaţiile cuvîntului "huligan" în limba română, după ce l-au folosit Sebastian, Eliade şi (pardon) Iliescu? Cert, nu cele ale "hooligan"-ului englezesc, irlandez, whatever.

Dacă Eliade vedea în huligani noua generaţie a tinerilor intelectuali interbelici răzvrătiţi împotriva falselor valori ale lumii în care traiau, Mihail Sebastian se autointitula huligan după ce Nae Ionescu şi alţi iluştri intelectuali români interbelici îi negaseră condiţia de om punînd-o în opoziţie cu cea de
Cind vine vorba de memoriile unei persoane e impropriu, cred, sa spui: "mi-au placut / nu mi-au placut". Motiv pentru care ratingul de 4* e mai degraba pentru scriitura, limba (care e aproape un personaj in sine) & limbaj si nu pentru continut; continut care (divizat cu succes in episoade scurte) se concentreaza pe cele 3 momente majore traite de autor: holocaust (in copilarie), regimul totalitarist si exilul, legate, toate 3, de acelasi fir comun: conditia de evreu.
Sever Gulea
Romanul autobiografic al lui Norman Manea evocă în culori profunde, intr-o constructie permanent interogativa, condiția desăvârșită a celui care a suportat din plin, pe deplin traumatismele unui secol nebun. Prins mereu în jocul izolării și al angajării, al retragerii și al afirmării, nefiind dispus să comită compromisuri morale, Norman Manea conturează portretul huliganului, inspirat de textele lui Mihai Sebastian: specia subversivă de individ pe care societatea nu o poate înregimenta lejer, ca ...more
Pitik Elena
Inca ma chinui...
Manea's memoir makes for very dense reading but is a fascinating account of a Jewish Romanian writer who survived his family's deportation during WWII to the concentration camps of Transnistria only to live through the Romania's Stalinist 1950s and the horrors of Nicolae Ceaușescu's totalitarian reign before eventually emigrating to the United States.

Despite the many hardships encountered in his home country, Manea's experience abroad has been one of an exile from his language. As Carla Baricz,
So I made it to around 300 pages and now I want to set it aside. I'm feeling a bit guilty about it because the writing is beautiful, if dense, but Manea writes so circularly, revisiting the same storylines from varying perspectives and depths, sometimes first person, sometimes third, and sometimes, very confusingly, from second person. This book is for the patient reader, and that's not me right now. There's no question that Manea is a gifted writer and has a powerful experience to tell. The his ...more
Meri Meri
I formally object to books that are so pretentious and needlessly intertextual just because the author is an academic. I was very annoyed by the author's need to show off. It makes me wonder whether the practice of quotation is a strategy of shying away from a tell-all account and proving the interconnectedness of life and art,which is what the book poses as, or merely a didactic exercise.
It must be said, however, was an interesting book and it has a lot of apt comments on life in Communist Roma
"Sînt un refugiat, pitit într-un colţ al lumii, bucuros că pot respira, atît."
Roxana Smarandache

Loved the writing! At first I felt it was jumpy, constantly going back and forth in time and, since I knew nothing about his experience and I knew only very vague facts about the 1941-1945 events, I was a bit lost; the writing won me over slowly but entirely. I found that the jumping in time was a powerful way of showing the pain and the tumult that the author must experience. This book marked and enriched me. The more recent experience under communism and the departure to the US 15 years ago a
O carte greu de rumegat, pe care nu am reușit să o duc la bun sfârșit, pentru că m-a pierdut în timpul jurnalului de călătorie.
Holly Woodward
Manea's life story interests me--he was deported as a young boy to a Romanian camp. But the writing is so dense, it obscures the vision. I wanted more of the brilliance glimpsed in occasional odd phrases.
Really interesting memoir about growing up in Communist Romania. Good for my research. A bit tough to read, due to its non-linear style, but absolutely fascinating.
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Norman Manea 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 lives in the United States, where he is the Francis Flournoy Professor of European Culture and writer in residence at Bard College.
He left Romania in 1986 with a DAAD-Berlin Grant and in 1988 went to the US with a Fulbright Scholarship at the
More about Norman Manea...
On Clowns: The Dictator and The Artist: Essays The Black Envelope October, Eight O'Clock Stories Compulsory Happiness The Lair

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