To the Editors:
In a Grove Press ad for two newly translated books by the Romanian writer Norman Manea (NYR, August 13), I am quoted as saying, “Astonishing…[Manea is] the ideal writer to have been pitted against the most vicious dictatorship of the last 40 years.”
I, in fact, said just the opposite in a brief profile of Manea that appeared in the New York Times Book Review (June 21, 1992). After describing Manea in my first sentence as “mild, reserved, anxious at times a bit timid,” I went on to write, “He does not strike even himself, I believe, as the ideal writer to have been pitted against perhaps the most vicious dictatorship of the last forty years.”
For Grove to falsify the meaning of a quotation like this is not only irresponsible but, given the point I was making from the beginning of the piece to the end, utterly ridiculous.