Jean Anderson (ed)

Been There, Read That! Stories for the Armchair Traveller

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Travel the world, from Austria to Vietnam, without leaving your favourite armchair!

The whole world—without carbon miles. It’s time we had books like this. Bill Manhire

Been There, Read That: Stories for the Armchair Traveller is a fascinating collection of short stories from around the world. Some of the authors are well known in their native language, others are relative newcomers; for many, this is the first time their work has appeared in English. In every case, the translators invite you to share the pleasures of their art: encountering a new voice, connecting with another culture, seeing the world through very different eyes.

France A mayor and his community try desperately to maintain the appearance of normality in a village that refuses to stay in one place. Germany A successful author longs to return to the wild days of his youth, but his long-suffering wife is not so sure. Iran A child tries to come to terms with the shock of her parents’ separation. Italy A doctor comes under the spell of an invalid giantess and her domineering mother. Korea A country girl travels to Seoul to live with her mother, and is both dazzled and disappointed by what she finds there. Mexico The quest to become parents takes over the lives of a couple who seem to have everything but the ability to conceive a child. Spain A twin falls from a building, changing his brother’s life forever—but which twin? Switzerland Amélie is left holding the baby as domestic realities erode her relationship with Émile, the love of her life. Tahiti Cousin Pouen is onto a winner when his scrawny rooster turns out to be the Tyson of fighting cocks. Venezuela A lonely young boy in a small backcountry town struggles with the mysteries, inconsistencies and cruelties of adult behaviour.

The publication of this book marks the opening of the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation. The Centre and Been There, Read That! will be launched by the Prime Minister Rt Hon Helen Clark on 3 March.

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