The Tobacconist
2018 Longlist

The Tobacconist

Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

When seventeen-year-old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna, his homesickness quickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city. In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek, he will soon be supplying the great and good of Vienna with their newspapers and cigarettes. Among the regulars is a Professor Freud, whose predilection for cigars and occasional willingness to dispense romantic advice will forge a bond between him and young Franz.

It is 1937. In a matter of months Germany will annex Austria and the storm that has been threatening to engulf the little tobacconist will descend, leaving the lives of Franz, Otto and Professor Freud irredeemably changed.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Robert
Seethaler

Robert Seethaler is an Austrian living in Berlin. He is the bestselling author of four novels, including The Tobacconist, which has sold more than 200,000 copies in Germany, and A Whole Life, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth.

Robert Seethaler is an Austrian living in Berlin. He is the bestselling author of four novels, including The Tobacconist, which has sold more than 200,000 copies in Germany, and A Whole Life, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Charlotte
Collins

Charlotte Collins is a British literary translator of contemporary literature and drama from German.

Collins studied English literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, then trained in acting at The Poor School, London. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in the UK and Germany before becoming a translator. She was Co-Chair of the Translators Association from 2017-2020, and is the creator of the Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translation series.

Charlotte Collins is a British literary translator of contemporary literature and drama from German.

Collins studied English literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, then trained in acting at The Poor School, London. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in the UK and Germany before becoming a translator. She was Co-Chair of the Translators Association from 2017-2020, and is the creator of the Translators Association – 60 Years of Classic Translation series.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

In this coming-of-age novel the Austrian author Robert Seethaler tells the story of 17-year-old Frans Huchel, who is sent to Vienna by his mother to become the apprentice to an old tobacconist. It is 1937 and the eve of Germany’s annexing of Austria, when the reader follows the young naïve protagonist trying to come to terms with city life, first love and the rising Nazi regime. And, by the way, even Sigmund Freud plays a role…. In simple, unpretentious prose, Seethaler unfolds a tragic comedy, that for nearly all ends up in catastrophe.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
06/04/2017
Country
Austria
Original Language
German
Publisher
Picador
Translator
Charlotte Collins
Translation
Translated from the German by Charlotte Collins

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