A splendid, violent spring suddenly grips Bucharest in the 1980s after a brutal winter. Tolea, an eccentric middle-aged intellectual who has been dismissed from his job as a high school teacher on "moral grounds", is investigating his father's death 40 years after the fact and is drawn into a web of suspicion and black humor.
"Reading The Black Envelope, one might think of the poisonous 'black milk' of Celan's Death Fugue.... Mr. Manea offers striking images and insights into the recent experience of Eastern Europe." (New York Times Book Review)
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