Manet van Montfrans studied Romance languages (French and Spanish) at the University of Amsterdam, where she obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees cum laude. From 1982 to 1986 she taught French Literature at COCMA, (Centrale Opleiding Middelbare Akten) in Utrecht, and from 1986 to 2009 she was assistant professor of Modern European and French Literature and Culture at the Department of European Studies of the University of Amsterdam. Since 2009 she has worked as a researcher for the chair in Modern European Literature. From 1982 to 1998 she reviewed South-African and French Literature for NRC Handelsblad, and in 1999 obtained her doctorate degree cum laude with a literary dissertation, named Georges Perec. La Contrainte du réel.
As editor-in-chief of the French Library (Publ. G.A.van Oorschot) she supervised some 30 translations of contemporary French fiction.
Since 2002 she has been a board member of the Marcel Proust Society, coeditor of the annual bilingual journal Marcel Proust aujourd'hui and of the Marcel Proust Bulletin. From 2007-2017 she was president of the board of SNRU (Stichting van Romanisten aan Nederlandse Universiteiten), the Foundation of Romanists at Dutch Universities.
Manet van Montfrans has specialized in the work of Georges Perec - her doctorate dissertation dealt with autobiography and the constraint of form in the prose of Perec, while the focus of her present research is on other aspects of his work such as the intertextual dimension (Barthes, Calvino, Cayrol, Proust) and the part played by topography and space. Her publications on Patrick Modiano follow naturally from her Perec research since the two writers are thematically related.
French literature after 1980 is another area of special interest, and more particularly the so called 'récits de filiation' with their representation of the disappearance of traditional communities from the French countryside and the former industrial areas, largely as a result of demografic and technological developments after World Wars I and II (Bergounioux, Bon, Jourde, Lafon, Michon and Rouaud). A third area of research is the reflection on the wars of decolonization of the 50s and the 60s by writers such as Didier Daeninckx, Laurent Mauvignier and Patrick Deville.
Bulletin Marcel Proust Vereniging nr 9, Amsterdam, De Boekdrukker, 2019.
'Des châteaux qui brûlent', Arno Bertina, Lecture Alliance française Zutphen, maart 2020.
Marcel Proust Aujourdhui no 16. Proust et le rire Leiden, Brill /Rodopi, 2020.
'Filiations perecquiennes néerlandaises. Rudy Kousbroek et Georges Perec : affinités électives', Cahiers Georges Perec, no 14, 2020.