Tuesday, September 21, 2021

2016 FIL Award honors Romanian Norman Manea for vision of “global exile”

Jury member of the FIL Prize Mercedes Monmany participates in a press conference in which it announced the failure of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) Award in Romance Languages 2016 released in Guadalajara, Mexico, 29 August 2016. EPA/ULISES RUIZ BASURTO

Jury member of the FIL Prize Mercedes Monmany participates in a press conference in which it announced the failure of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) Award in Romance Languages 2016 released in Guadalajara, Mexico, 29 August 2016. EPA/ULISES RUIZ BASURTO

Guadalajara, Mexico, Aug 29 (EFE).- Romanian writer Norman Manea’s vision of “global exile,” a term he uses to describe today’s massive migrations, will be honored at the upcoming Guadalajara International Book Fair, or FIL.

The jury of the FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages on Monday announced Manea as the prizewinner in the Romanian language.

The unanimous decision was chiefly won by the way the Romanian deals with “the matter of itinerant identity.”
“Faced with the catastrophes of history and the exile to which we are submitted, Manea asks shrewdly but with irony how we can define ourselves in this world of changing mirrors,” the jury’s Spanish spokeswomen Mercedes Monmany told the press.

In a conference call from Berlin, the author, born in the northeastern Romanian town of Suceava in 1936, spoke about the central character of his work, the “wandering Jew,” embodied as different characters in different epochs.

Of Jewish origin and exiled to the United States in the 1980s, Manea notes that he is not the only one to feel “ripped away from his origins” – the figure of the “wandering Jew” describes so many in our time.

Becoming a “wandering Jew” is a metaphor for the citizen who lives in “global exile.”

“We live in a time of great migrations,” when the world “has lost its center” and what is left is the individual search for peace and hope in a context of suffering, but also of “tenacity and resilience,” he said.

In his country of origin, Manea suffered many clashes with censorship and the Communist dictatorship, which led to several mutilated versions of his works being published.

The FIL Award, with its cash prize of $150,000, will be presented next Nov. 26 at the inauguration of the 30th annual FIL, the most important literary fair in the Spanish-speaking world and which this year will have Latin America as its guest of honor.

For this edition of the award, 54 candidacies were submitted from 23 countries, Mercedes Monmany said.