Norman Manea is a Romanian writer, living in New York City. His writing comprises novels, essays, short prose and his topic is, mainly, the individual destiny in extreme situations (holocaust, communist dictatorship, exile).
Norman Manea received important Romanian, American and European cultural distinctions. He is the Laureate of the Romanian National Prize for Literature and is the first Romanian writer to be granted the American McArthur Fellowship, as well as the Italian international Nonino Prize, the French Medicis Etranger Prize, the German Nelly Sachs Prize, the Spanish Palau Fabre Prize. Member of the Berlin Academy of Art and of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain, he was decorated by the French government with the title of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. (see Bio-bibliography). He seems to be the Romanian writer mostly honored ever, outside his homeland.
At the celebration of his 75th birthday at Bard College and at the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York writers, scholars and publishers from several countries debated and praised the literary originality and the moral core of his creativity. At this occasion, was published in Romanian and English the festive book In Honorem Norman Manea: Obsesia Incertitudinii - The Obsession Of Uncertainty, Polirom, Romania, 2011, with important literary contributors (Philip Roth, Claudio Magris, Antonio Tabucchi, Antonio Munoz Molina etc.).
Numerous reviews, studies, essays on his work can be found in the main newspapers and cultural magazines in the USA, Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and other countries were his writing was published.
The Polirom Publishing House in Romania started a series of 25 volumes of his work, from which 17 have already appeared.
The Swedish press in 2012 and the French press in 2013 reiterated Norman Manea's status as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature.
In 2013, the Romanian Writers Union proposed his name as a Nobel candidate, as did – in previous years – the Romanian and Swedish PEN and several scholars in Romanian literature.
In 2014, the Romanian PEN reiterated this proposal.