Martin Vopěnka's novel, The Back of Beyond--Travels with Benjamin, is the story of a middle-aged man, who--despite his professional success and affluence--lacks fulfillment. After the tragic death of his wife, he is left alone with his eight-year-old son and quickly realizes that if he wants to succeed in the role of single parent that has suddenly been thrust upon him, he has to change fundamentally. So, he takes his son and sets out on a journey to what he dubs the Back of Beyond. Without telling anyone of their plans--in fact, without any plans to speak of--father and son travel from city to city, from country to country, assembling a travelogue that includes not only depictions of exotic places and colorful encounters, but also an inner journey, deep into the human experience and the complexities of living in a post-communist world. With its unique blend of sensitive and suggestive language, The Back of Beyond - Travels with Benjamin is a stylistic gem, rendered in seamless translation and appearing here for the first time in English.Author:
8.50h x 5.50w x 0.70dISBN:
About the Author
Anna Bryson was born in Birmingham, UK in 1955. She studied modern history at Oxford University, where she obtained a DPhil in history (1984). Her history book, From Courtesy to Civility, Changing Codes of Conduct in Early Modern England, was published by Oxford University Press in 1998.
She was appointed Lecturer in Intellectual History in the School of European Studies at Sussex University in 1985, where she developed an interest in East European and specifically Czech culture. Following the Velvet Revolution in 1989 she spent a sabbatical in Prague and in 1991 she decided to move there permanently.
From 1991 to 2010 she worked as an advisor and translator in the International Relations Department at Charles University in Prague, and also lectured at the Philosophical Faculty and Faculty of Social Sciences, as well as writing occasional pieces on Czech life and culture in the British press. She also established a reputation as a translator of academic articles and monographs in history, social sciences and the arts. Her more recent book-length academic translations include Miroslav Verner's Temple of the World: Sanctuaries, Cults, and Mysteries of Ancient Egypt
(2013) and Vaclav Houzvicka's Czechs and Germans 1848-2004: The Sudeten Question and the Transformation of Central Europe
In the field of fiction, Bryson translated the Czech novelist Martin Vopenka's novel Ballad of Descent
(1995, Northwestern University Press 1995), and has continued to work with him over the years, for example on extracts from his work for the Prague Writers' Festival and his ecological fairy stories, Tales from the Windy Mountains
before the new My Brother the Messiah
Since 2010 Anna Bryson has worked as an entirely freelance translator, editor and writer. Her work appears both under her maiden name and her married name Anna Bryson Gustova.