Several months ago I learned my first novel, A Line Between Friends, would soon be available in Taiwan and Mainland China. Optioned twice, by both The Commercial Press in Taiwan and the Shanghai Wanyu Culture and Art Company in China, the translated version was scheduled for distribution this summer. I haven’t yet received the new product, but I have seen the new cover:
Today I think I received my first review, but it’s hard to tell. The problem? I can’t read Mandarin. Google Translation, which I now offer as a blog gadget, helped a little bit, but I’m afraid the expression, “lost in translation” comes into play. If anyone is interested in reading the blog entry by Fran Wu, it can be found at http://blog.roodo.com/franwu/
When I heard Taiwan and China were interested in this novel, I couldn’t help but wonder if the story and/or the characters’ motivations would translate. Noelle and Joel, the main characters in A Line Between Friends, sprung from a 1970s coming-of-age, and are 100% Western in culture and nature. Their Chinese counterparts grew up during the Cultural Revolution, (under Mao from 1966-1976), where students were sent to the country to be “reeducated.” All books, except for Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book,” his quotations/instructions on life, were banned.
Today, however, it looks like the Chinese can read anything. Even my little novel. I wish I knew the Mandarin word for “unbelievable.”