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Child of All Nations

Child of All Nations

By Irmgard Keun
Translated by Michael Hofmann

In this utterly enchanting novel, some of the great themes of 1930's Europe are refracted through the eyes of a child who is both naive and wise beyond her years.

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 that 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 in 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.

Irrepressible Kully, her charming, feckless father and her nervy, fragile mother are brought to life through Irmgard Keun's fast-paced prose.

195 Pages
4.8 x 0.6 x 7.3 inches
Overlook Press, 2010
ISBN 9781590203019

$14.95 $14.95