In May 1982, Julio Cortázar, literary explorer of the highest order, set out with his wife Carol Dunlop aboard their VW camper van to explore the uncharted territory of the Paris-Marseilles freeway.
It was a route they’d driven before, usually in about ten hours. This time, they loaded up with supplies – food, water, wine, cameras, typewriters – and prepared for an arduous voyage of thirty-three days. The rules of the expedition had been set down: they must not leave the motorway, and they must explore each of the rest areas along the way, at a rate of two per day. The result is a brilliantly funny, irreverent travelogue.
About the Author
Julio Cortázar was born in Belgium in 1914 to Argentine parents. They returned to Buenos Aires when he was four. One of the true giants of twentieth-century literature, Cortazar was a tireless defender of Latin American self-determination and many of his books were banned in Argentina. He died in Paris in 1984.
Carol Dunlop was a writer, translator, activist, and photographer. She is mostly known for being the wife of the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar with whom she co-wrote The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute.
About the Translator
Anne McLean is a Canadian translator who lives and translates in Yorkshire. She has a Masters Degree in Literary Translation and has translated works by Julio Cortázar, Javier Cercas, Evelio Rosero, Juan Gabriel Vázquez, Ignacio Martínez de Pisón and Carmen Martín Gaite, among others. She was awarded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009 and 2004 for her translations of Los ejércitos and Soldados de Salamina.
'This touching roadtrip story was translated into English for the first time last year, and was quickly hailed as a classic' Sunday Times
'A surreal, but also funny and loving journal charting the couple's unusual road trip along the Paris to Marseille autoroute in their VW camper van fafner.' Independent on Sunday
'Cortazar is a unique storyteller.'
'A playful, surprisingly intimate account of a marriage in all its ranging vicissitudes ... a collaboration between two artists very much in love.'
'A first-class literary imagination.'
New York Times Book Review