Modern Classics Child of All Nations (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141188454: Modern Classics Child of All Nations (Penguin Modern Classics)

Kully knows some things you don’t learn at school. She knows the right way to roll a cigarette and pack a suitcase. She knows that cars are more dangerous than lions. She knows you can’t enter a country without a passport or visa. And she knows that she and her parents can’t go back to Germany again – her father’s books are banned there. But there are also things she doesn’t understand, like why there might be a war in Europe – just that there are men named Hitler, Mussolini and Chamberlain involved. Little Kully is far more interested where their next meal will come from and the ladies who seem to buzz around her father. Meanwhile she and her parents roam through Europe. Her mother would just like to settle down, but as her restless father struggles to find a new publisher, the three must escape from country to country as their visas expire, money runs out and hotel bills mount up.

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About the Author:

Michael Hofmann is a translator and the author of several books of poetry and criticism. Penguin publish his translations of Franz Kafka, Hans Fallada, Irmgard Keun and Jakob Wassermann.

From Publishers Weekly:

First published in 1938 and now available in English, Keun's antic road novel set in pre-WWII Europe is a charmer that unfortunately sours. Ten-year-old narrator Kully's problems are bigger than the usual preadolescent angst. With Kully and her mother, Annie, in tow, her father, Peter, a novelist and journalist, has abandoned their native Germany, where many of his colleagues have been imprisoned during the fascist 1930s. The family is constantly on the move, from Poland and Belgium to the Netherlands and France. Peter—irresponsible, frequently broke, too fond of booze and women—has his family living on credit at fancy hotels and scrounges constantly and outrageously off publishers, relatives and acquaintances, often leaving Kully and Annie for weeks on end as he travels to drum up funds. Kully is often canny and amusing, and her dysfunctional family will resonate with many contemporary readers, but her voice and precociousness quickly become grating, and the political impressions of this European Eloise promise more than they deliver. (Sept.)
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Hofmann, Michael (Afterword by)/ Keun, Irmgard (Author)/ Hofmann, Michael (Translated by)
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Keun, Irmgard
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