Monday, July 26, 2010

Out in Italian

You know how I find out I've got a foreign language edition ensconced happily on some foreign shelf?

Pick one:

a)  My agent sends me a congratulatory e-mail.

b)  My publisher's two copies of the foreign-language edition show up in my mailbox.

c)  Kindly and alert reader Nina M. sends me the news.

In yet another of my small-minded carpings about covers, I will point out that my Annique and Grey have wandered into the High Victorian era (complete with gas lamps,) and that she has Really Big Hands.

I feel great kindliness toward this Italian publisher.  They translated my very first fiction book way back in the dim ages when folks still wrote on clay tablets and baked them in the sun. Italian Romance readers seem to be a great bunch and I hope they've got themselves a good translation.

Un Amore da Spie is Mondadori 921, neatly snuggled between Maggie Osborne's I do, I do, I do (920) and Johanna Lindsey's The Heir (922).  Un Amore da Spie is pleased to be in such august company and rather enjoying having its very own number.

Un Amore da Spie is available from Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, somewhere, somehow.  Those who buy Italian books will doubtless know how to find them.


  1. Years ago I wanted to speed up my reading Italian, so I grabbed an Italian romance at a used book store.
    Something seemed a little off, but it took me into the second chapter before I realized it had been translated from English and set in Scotland.
    (The hands are a little, odd - not sure what her hair is doing there either. Is her bun slipping out, or is there supposed to be hair down the back of her neck?)

  2. There seems to a lively market for Romance translations, worldwide. The relatively few Romance works headed 'the other way' -- into English, are just excellent. Sergeanne Golon comes to mind.

    I do not know quite what to make of that bun. There is a certain fine, insouciance to it, as if it had shrugged and said . . .

    "Hah! I will not cooperate with your foolish hair pins. I will creeeep down your neck until I disappear down the back of your so velvet and flounced dress with the sleeves of remarkable breadth and fullness which would not have existed before 1830, if then."

    I think this may be a somewhat Gibson Girls Go Wild hairdo,

  3. Nice version of the title, though: A Love Between Spies.

  4. Christine9:19 AM

    It is a very pretty cover and looking on the plus side- the hair color looks correct. I've seen some covers where the hero/heroine are pictured with the exact opposite colored hair.

    I have to say it does look more appropriate for say Gaskell's North and South than your Napoleonic era story but it does have a sexy sounding Italian title and "I Romanzi" at the top. Who could resist that? Oh and no way is that heroine on the cover 19. She's beautiful but looking closer to 30 than her teens.

    What fun to see the books presented in different ways in different countries! Have you ever seen the Japanese versions of romance novels done as anime/manga books? So much fun. Can't you imagine Annique, Jess and Adrian as anime characters? I can't quite picture Grey, Doyle and Sebastian though.

    I am determined to get the French version to practice my poor rusty French reading skills.

    That's my story anyways and I'm sticking to it ;0)


  5. Hi Elisa --

    That's a cool title, actually, now that I come to think of it. It does pack the essence of the story in a few words.

    I'm going to hope this is a good sign for the whole translation.

  6. Hi Christine --

    I'll admit I find the French cover somewhat intimidating.

    I'm supposed to get copies of these foreign editions. I don't seem to be doing that in a universal and reliable fashion. Or maybe the mails are slow. Or something.

    I'm looking forward to getting the Italian edition because, as I say, I have a warm spot in my heart for all things Italian. Italy is one of the great countries to be a stranger in. Kindly people everywhere.

    And I'm looking forward to getting the French book, which I will be able to read after a fashion. If it doesn't show up, I will eventually buy a copy.

    I'd buy a couple of the Chinese edition, (if I could ever find it,) because there is a writer I very much admire who speaks Chinese and I would like to give her a copy.

  7. We've exchanged emails, I'm an (American) reader living in Italy. I love romance so much, I wanted to get some romance books in Italian to practice/improve when I first moved here, but the problem is all historical romance novels are written in "old" Italian (think "thee" and "thou") which means it contributes absolutely nothing if you're trying to learn it in the year 2010 :) Needless to say, my romance books in Italian got shelved and I continue to read in English.

    The title translates roughly to "(Two) Spies' Love Story" or A love between spies, etc.

  8. Hi Sara --

    I am impressed beyond measure that you read MODERN Italian. Congratulations. No one would expect you to indulge in archaic literary forms.

    French does this too.

    I would wonder if this leads to a 'distance' in accessing the stories. To a disconnect between 'literature' and ordinary life. Maybe even a societal presumption that 'literature' is not supposed to reach average people and talk about everyday things.