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Norman Manea
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Biography
Norman Manea
Norman Manea is the author of OctoberEight O’Clock (Grover Press), The Years of Apprenticeship of Agustus the Fool, and The Black Envelope (both available from Polirom). In 2006, he was awarded the French Prix Medicis for Foreign Literature for his memoir The Hooligan’s Return (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, The Literary Lion Medal of the New York National Library, the National Jewish Book Award, and the International Nonino Prize for Literature. Manea teaches European literature and is writer in residence at Bard College.

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Vol. 82
Works & Days
Spring 2024
Bradford Morrow

Online

May 15, 2024
The boy watches me tend the fry pan. First of November in a warm year. I was an old man this morning. Now it is night and I am still an old man. The good stink of hot fried whitefish rises in the kitchen and oak leaves have fallen, painted the hill red. I am an old man because my body does not move fast. I am an old man because I have seen change that is large enough to fit inside my body. The change I have seen is like a bent stick I have swallowed. It sits inside my chest. It might make a hole in something soon.
May 8, 2024
Why my mother don’t like me?
     I ask Ansin, my grandmother. I say, How it is my mother never did like me?
     She steups. Kiss she teeth. And smooth-out that news she was reading in. Raise it up again to give it a little flip. At the top. And you could feel the vexness in that flip too.
     I say, Is cause I ent got no father?
May 1, 2024
“You have fifteen minutes,” the cashier says. Repeats it, runs your card, matter-of-factly smiling like Iowa girls do. Brenda smiled that smile too—pleasant, courteous. No faking, no strain.
     “Any questions?” she asks.
     You poke a carousel rack of baseball caps in front of her register. It creaks a clockwise inch. Stiff-billed, nylon, mesh. Lots of American flags. This one with the cabin patch, stitched with “Home Sweet Home.” It’s a deep bluish plum, a color Brenda likes.