By Norman Manea
In cool, specified prose, and with an unerring experience of the absurd, the 4 novellas of Compulsory Happiness create an image of way of life in a gruesome police country, expressing terror and wish, worry and unity, the funny triviality of the normal, and the painful look for an ideal.
"Norman Manea's 4 novellas, written through the later Ceausescu years, provide a related distinction to different jap eu dissident writing. rather than the vigorous irony, the ebullient absurdism, the sharp-eyed wit, we discover a dreamy disconnection, a voice that surprise has decreased, an air of sweetness pushed mad."—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
"Mr. Manea's voice is significantly new, and we're blessedly woke up and alerted by means of the call for his fiction makes on our understanding."—Lore Segal, New York occasions e-book Review
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Extra resources for Compulsory Happiness (The Margellos World Republic of Letters)
For Mpho the streets of Johannesburg are “cold and sunless” and the tall buildings are “cold and dead” (Braude 1994, p. 22). Both Serena and Mpho experience a sense of alienation in this new place, the “cold and lonely wilderness that is the city” (Beake 1990, p. 62). When Mpho finds refuge in a shelter, a series of serendipitous and implausible events culminates in a reunion with his father just before the 1994 elections, symbolising the return of a right to live in a place that was previously denied him.
New history of South Africa. Cape Town: Tafelberg. Glass, L. (2007). Ruby red. London: Penguin. Glass, L. (2010a). Interview with Linzi Glass, author of Ruby Red, by her daughter, Jordan Katz. html Glass, L. (2010b). K. Linzi Glass interview. linziglass. html Gordon, S. (1987). Waiting for the rain. London, New York: Orchard Books. Halberstam, G. (2008). Blue sky freedom. London: Macmillan Children’s Books. Harries, A. (1980). The sound of the gora. London: Heinemann. Heale, J. ). Banned books.
Chelsea, inevitably influenced by the norms and conventions of society during her childhood, struggles to reconcile herself to the idea that her mother has married a black man, feeling that there is “something shameful and immoral” about their relationship (Bregin 1994, p. 38). However, she is even more horrified at sharing the physical space of her home with Nkululeko and his father, revealed most clearly when she first encounters Nkululeko mistakenly unpacking his belongings in her room. She perceives his actions as a violation of her personal space and a threat to her identity as her racist attitudes and stereotypes emerge during a confrontation when she remembers “stories in the newspaper about black squatters taking over other people’s houses” (Bregin 1994, p.