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Acclaimed Writer Norman Manea Receives France's Highest Cultural Honor

Jennifer Wai-Lan Huang
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The French Ministry of Culture has conferred the prestigious title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture and writer in residence at Bard College, in recognition of a “great talent” and a literary work “without concession, vigilante, humanistic.” The Order of Arts and Letters (L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 by the French Minister of Culture to reward individuals who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the arts or literature or by the contribution they have made to the influence of arts and letters in France and worldwide. It consists of three ranks: Knight (Chevalier), Officer (Officier), and the highest honor, Commander (Commandeur).

Celebrated Romanian émigré writer Norman Manea, a member of the Bard faculty since 1989, is author of 22 volumes of fiction and essays. Among numerous honors, he has received Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships, been awarded France’s Prix Médicis Étranger and Italy’s International Nonino Prize for Literature, and been elected a member of the Berlin Academy of Art. In 2007, he was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit by the President of Romania and in 2008 received honorary degrees in literature from the University of Bucharest and Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania. In 2009, he received the Gheorghe Crãciun Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bucharest-based Observator Cultural and was awarded the annual prize for letters by the Foundation of French Judaism. His work has been translated into 20 languages. He lives with his wife in New York City.


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This event was last updated on 07-30-2009