Compulsory Happiness

Trade Paper – $17.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-1190-5
Publication Date
October 1994
Page Count
259 pages
Trim Size
4 3/4 x 8

Compulsory Happiness

Norman Manea

In cool, precise prose, and with an unerring sense of the absurd, Norman Manea's four novellas create a picture of everyday life in a grotesque police state, expressing terror and hope, fear and solidarity, the humorous triviality of the ordinary, and the painful search for an ideal.

About 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 in the United States.

"Norman Manea's four novellas, written during the later Ceausescu years, offer a comparable contrast to other Eastern European dissident writing. Instead of the energetic irony, the ebullient absurdism, the sharp-eyed wit, we find a dreamy disconnection, a voice that shock has lowered, an air of sweetness driven mad."
--Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
"Mr. Manea's voice is radically new, and we are blessedly awakened and alerted by the demand his fiction makes on our understanding." --Lore Segal, New York Times Book Review
"The four novellas in this collection portray the psychological discomfort of living in a police state. . .Hauntingly well done, this collection is recommended for general as well as informed readers."--Library Journal