Neuman
2014 Shortlist

Traveller of the Century

Translated from the original Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

A novel of philosophy and love, politics and waltzes, history and the here-and-now, Andrés Neuman’s Traveller of the Century is a journey into the soul of Europe, penned by one of the most exciting South-American writers of our time.

A traveller stops off for the night in the mysterious city of Wandernburg. He intends to leave the following day, but the city begins to ensnare him with its strange, shifting geography.

When Hans befriends an old organ grinder, and falls in love with Sophie, the daughter of a local merchant, he finds it impossible to leave. Through a series of memorable encounters with starkly different characters, Neuman takes the reader on a hypothetical journey back into post-Napoleonic Europe, subtly evoking its parallels with our modern era.

At the heart of the novel lies the love story between Sophie and Hans. They are both translators, and between dictionaries and bed, bed and dictionaries, they gradually build up their own fragile common language. Through their relationship, Neuman explores the idea that all love is an act of translation, and that all translation is an act of love.

Judges’ Comments

Rather like the traveller of its title, Andres Neuman’s sprawling novel takes us on a furious journey to strange, fascinating places, as if determined to chart unknown novelistic territory. Nineteenth century Prussia and Saxony are the novel’s setting, but they are merely a backdrop to the intense discussions on art, politics, language, culture and sex that occupy the foreground and infuse the novel with a thoroughly modern aesthetic. A novel of ideas that is also a love story, sprinkled with elements of a thriller, Traveller of the Century teases the contemporary novel into a new, exciting form.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Andrés
Neuman

Andrés Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Spain. He was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogotá39 list. Traveler of the Century (FSG, 2012) was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain’s two most prestigious literary awards, as well as of a special commendation from the jury of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Neuman has taught Latin American literature at the University of Granada.

Photo Credit:  Antonia Urbano

Andrés Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Spain. He was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogotá39 list. Traveler of the Century (FSG, 2012) was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain’s two most prestigious literary awards, as well as of a special commendation from the jury of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Neuman has taught Latin American literature at the University of Granada.

Photo Credit:  Antonia Urbano

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Nick
Caistor

Nick Caistor is a translator, journalist, and author of non-fiction books. He has translated some forty books from Spanish and Portuguese, including those by Paulo Coelho, Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Marsé, and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, and has twice been awarded the Valle-Inclán prize for Spanish translation. He has presented and produced many programs on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service and is a regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian.

Nick Caistor is a translator, journalist, and author of non-fiction books. He has translated some forty books from Spanish and Portuguese, including those by Paulo Coelho, Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Marsé, and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, and has twice been awarded the Valle-Inclán prize for Spanish translation. He has presented and produced many programs on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service and is a regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Lorenza
Garcia

Lorenza Garcia was born and brought up in England. She spent her early twenties living and working in Iceland and Spain. In 1998 she graduated from Goldsmiths with a first-class honors degree in Spanish and Latin American studies. She moved to France in 2001, where she lived for seven years. Since 2006 she has translated and co-translated more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction from the French, the Spanish, and the Icelandic.

Lorenza Garcia was born and brought up in England. She spent her early twenties living and working in Iceland and Spain. In 1998 she graduated from Goldsmiths with a first-class honors degree in Spanish and Latin American studies. She moved to France in 2001, where she lived for seven years. Since 2006 she has translated and co-translated more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction from the French, the Spanish, and the Icelandic.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Andrés Neuman has had his work translated into English, French and Polish. He was awarded the Qwerty Prize for best book of fiction in the Spanish language and the Foundation Books and Letters Award for best book of fiction. He also received the 2011 Alfaguara Award, the Roger Caillois prize in 2012 and was a finalist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
29/03/2012
Country
Argentina, Spain
Original Language
Spanish
Publisher
Pushkin Press
Translator
Nick Caistor, Lorenza Garcia
Translation
Translated from the original Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia

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