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Wednesday, November 01, 2006


The Netherlands

Here's something interesting: the Dutch cover of my book.


I had a long and interesting correspondence with the translator on this version, who was intelligent and delightful, so I'm assuming that it's a good translation. I don't think I'll ever be sure, because, of course, I don't understand Dutch, so I can't check . . . But the thing that's interesting in particular, as you'll see from the page, is that they couldn't find a one-word title. 'Bareback', which is the title it's being sold under for foreign rights (stop sniggering, Yanks, the rest of the world is managing to keep a straight face), turned out to be untranslatable. We discussed it, and she said she'd think about it. Next thing I know, here's the new title:

De uitzonderlijke belevenissen van Lola Galley

- which I'm told translates roughly as 'The exceptional life of Lola Galley'. I rather like it.

I rather like the cover, too; in the meeting with the foreign rights agents, we had an running debate as to whether the figure in it was a child or an adult (majority view went with child). The Dutch publishers apparently want to market it as capital-L Literature, and I'm told that the style is appropriate to that market. Suits me fine; it's preeetty . . . I'm not quite sure how the cover relates to the book, though. Evokes an atmosphere? Refers to the parks in the book? Picture of lost innocence? Just looks attractive and suits the market so get a grip, Whitfield, you said you liked it so what are you quibbling about? As I said, I do like the cover a lot, but if anyone's closer than me to working out what it signifies, I'd love to hear from them.

It could be a picture taken from the perspective of whatever is lurking in the shadows behind her. All she has to do is turn around...

A subtle eerie feeling of being watched combined with, yes, childlike innocence and a great big world filled with things both amazing and dangerous.
Ah, I hadn't thought of that.
I think I can see a werewolf in there. Hiding in the bushes...just off to the right...
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