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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Lost In Translation?

Yesterday the postman brought me something utterly thrilling - a contract to publish SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE in Brazil - BRAZIL! How cool is that?!

If they keep my title and translate it it'll be

Alguém a Vida de Else!

(English to Portuguese translation c/o

How utterly mind-blowing.

This possibility did not even cross my mind while I was writing the book - all those long lonely hours just hoping that someday, someone, somewhere would like it - and now it is just the absolute juicy red cherry on the cake.

To imagine that my book will be translated into a whole other language and sold in a country on the other side of the world that I've never even been to - in vibrant Brazil!

Land of fiestas and carnivals, excessive waxing and incredible football players (till they move abroad to play for Real Madrid or somewhere) - perhaps I'll even get to go there to do book events...? (note to editors: pretty please...?)
In the meantime, I can dream :)

But it got me to thinking - if English-language fiction is translated and published all over the world, how come we don't have more international translated teen fiction over here? I'm struggling to think of many - Stieg Larsson, Cornelia Funke, and a few others I've probably missed, but why aren't there more? Why don't we have many novels from Brazil, Spain, France, India, China, Japan?

Is it that they just don't sell? Do English-speaking teens just find it easier to identify with characters in the culture they're familiar with? If so, why don't we have more European fiction? And why are dystopian and fantasy books so popular at the moment?

Teens love to travel - Gap years are becoming more and more popular, precisely because there is a hunger to see the world, to experience other cultures - why don't we offer a glimpse of this in teen fiction?

Isn't YA fiction about broadening our horizons, after all...?

What do you think? Why do you think our YA literature is so dominated by English-speaking authors, and do you think this should change? Would you like to read more foreign fiction?
Or do you prefer familiar characters and locations?


Thales Guaracy said...

Dear Katie,
This is thales Guaracy, your brazillian editor.
Thanks for this, we are very happy to have you here as well.
And being a brazilian author myself I could not agree more with your words about the necessity of promoting more brazilian literature abroad. What actually we are planning to do here in Saraiva.
You are welcome and we'll think of something to get you here in Brazil when it comes the time!

PS don't trust that much automatic translators, we still have to figure out what the title in portuguese can be!!!

katie dale said...

Dear Thales Guaracy, thank you so much for commenting - how wonderful to hear from you!
(Apologies for the automatic translator - my Portuguese is currently pretty limited!)

I'm so excited to be working with you - and would be thrilled to meet you in person in fabulous Brazil!

What genre do you write yourself?

All best,

Katie x

chie said...

I would certainly prefer to read more foreign fiction which were translated from Dutch translation to english, or in any languages.Because in that way I could have an idea what do people think,feel or their culture is.When we read books from a foreign country it seems like travelling in that country through the stories plot.We could recognize how they have been living afar from our own culture.

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