Ion Manta, born in 1940 in Timisoara, Romania, earned his diploma in biology. He also studied painting in the private art studio of Julius Podlipny. From 1963 on he tried his hand as a teacher, graphic designer, actor, and cultural facilitator at the University of Adult Education. In 1969, in the confusion of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, after defecting to Austria, he settled in the US in 1970. In Washington his first job was at the Smithsonian Institute, then Catholic University, and for 22 years at the Federal Government. On the side, he collaborated for years with the VOA, Romanian section. As an artist he exhibited in Romania, then as an American, locally and internationally (American Painters In Paris, France in 1976). Since1998, the author published six books in Romanian. Presently he lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Melancholy to loneliness, an unrestrained skeptic who at times hides his nostalgia behind a disturbing silence, or withdrawn in distant thoughts, the prose-writer, by detachment and a subtle élan, seems a messenger of midnight."
- Aurel Sasu, Dictionary of Romanian Writers in The United States and Canada, 2001.
"A lot of good Romanian literature originates today in America ...after Mircea Eliade, Ioan Petru Culianu, Matei Calinescu, Virgil Nemoianu, Petru Popescu, Marcel Cornis Pop, Andrei Codrescu, Ion Manta, Andrei Sangeorzan...now Liviu Georgescu."
- Vasile Dan, Arca 2008
"One senses at Ion Manta a combination of the experimental and fantastic, or a sort of bizarre very near to the oneiric."
- Livius Ciocarlie, writer and critic.