Traveler of the Century
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
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Searching for an inn, the enigmatic traveler Hans stops in a small city on the border between Saxony and Prussia. The next morning, Hans meets an old organ-grinder in the market square and immediately finds himself enmeshed in an intense debate—on identity and what it is that defines us—from which he cannot break free.
Indefinitely stuck in Wandernburg until his debate with the organ-grinder is concluded, he begins to meet the various characters who populate the town, including a young freethinker named Sophie. Though she is engaged to be married, Sophie and Hans begin a relationship that defies contemporary mores about female sexuality and what can and cannot be said about it.
Traveler of the Century is a deeply intellectual novel, chock-full of discussions about philosophy, history, literature, love, and translation. It is a book that looks to the past in order to have us reconsider the conflicts of our present. The winner of Spain’s prestigious Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Traveler of the Century marks the English-language debut of Andrés Neuman, a writer described by Roberto Bolaño as being “touched by grace.”
Andres Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Spain. He has a degree in Spanish philology from the University of Granada. Neuman was selected as one of "Granta"'s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogota-39 list. "Traveler of the Century "was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain's two most prestigious literary awards.
Nick Caistor is a former BBC Latin America analyst and the author of "Octavio Paz", also published by Reaktion Books.