The King of China
Author: Tilman Rammstedt
Translated by Katy Derbyshire
9780857427311 | PB | pp. 194 | 2019 | Seagull Books
Keith has gambled away all the money he had kept aside for his grandfather’s travel to China. The King of China is a hilarious tale of two men describing imaginary travels and bizarre sights through letters home.
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When Keith Stapperpfennig and his family give their grandfather the trip of a lifetime—an all-expenses-paid holiday to any destination in the world—the old man arbitrarily chooses China, and asks Keith to accompany him. But when Keith loses all the money for the journey at a casino, he goes into hiding—mostly under his desk—and his grandfather, not really interested in travelling to China, heads down the road to engage in a similar subterfuge. It is here that the novel opens: two men in hiding, mere miles apart. With the aid of a guidebook, Keith writes letters home, detailing their imaginary travels and the bizarre sights they see. But soon his imagination gets the better of him . . . . Engaging, strange and ultimately moving, this hilarious novel confirmed Tilman Rammstedt as one of Germany’s most compelling writers.
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About the Contributors
The author was born in Bielefeld in 1975 and lives in Berlin. He has published four novels and one short-story collection in German.
The translator was born in Britain and is based in Berlin. She is coeditor of no man’s land, an online literary magazine of contemporary German writing in English.
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