Shortlisted for the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
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 listener 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.
“A beautiful, accomplished novel: as ambitious as it is generous, as moving as it is smart.” GUARDIAN