Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Annuzza a Girl of Romania
by Hertha Seuberlich
Age Range: 9-11
Set in the Romanian countryside at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, this powerful novel is narrated in the first person by twelve-year-old Annuzza the main protagonist. Annuzza lives with her peasant farmer family – mother, father, grandmother Bunika, elder sister Kuza and younger brother Puiu. The family are very poor with their main source of income from the maize growing in fields that they own.
Annuzza loves learning and while attending the local village school her teacher recognising her potential and recommends that she apply for a scholarship to the school in town. However, Annuzza is met with rebuffs from her alcoholic and abusive father, sceptical mother, scoffing brother and unkind grandmother, who all believe her place is on the farm. The only support Annuzza receives is from her sister Kuza, but even she warns her about the dangers of leaving her own kind.
Despite this Annuzza wins the scholarship and attends the town school. There she makes friends with a wealthy student called Nadine, who introduces Annuzza to her handsome cousin Nelo. Annuzza, embarrassed by her humble peasant origins, lies to them about her social status telling them that her family is rich. After four years Annuzza is faced with a major decision: move permanently into the world of town life or return to her home and family and Marcel who wishes to marry her.
This is an extraordinary novel by German author Hertha Seuberlich, with a superb translation by Stella Humphries, which explores the feelings of a teenage girl facing obstacles from her family and the struggles she encounters as she attempts to fulfil her dreams. The book also offers an insight into Romanian customs, local celebrations and ways of life. The story is accompanied throughout by black and white line drawings by Gerhard Pallasch.