Lit­er­ary sub­tletly lost in trans­la­tion

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - BOOKS - By Bob Arm­strong

IF the Ger­man-lan­guage edi­tion of Patti Grayson’s novel Au­tumn, One Spring were any more Cana­dian, her pub­lisher would be pay­ing her in beaver pelts. The Ger­man edi­tion of the novel — the story of a woman re­turn­ing to her north­ern On­tario home­town for the wed­ding of her es­tranged sis­ter — bears the ti­tle Hochzeit mit Elch (Wed­ding with Moose), and fea­tures a cover im­age of a moose stand­ing in a teacup em­bla­zoned with maple leaves. Grayson says she was skep­ti­cal the Ger­man ver­sion of her novel would come to fruition, even after she signed the con­tract for a trans­la­tion, but was “over the moon” when she saw the cover on the pub­lisher’s web­site. A lo­cal pub­lish­ing company is launch­ing an an­thol­ogy of writ­ing about or by women that will raise money for the Breast Can­cer So­ci­ety of Canada. Woman: An An­thol­ogy — funded this sum­mer via a Kick­s­tarter cam­paign — in­cludes ma­te­rial by Alice Munro, Lynn Coady and Stephen King, as well as a num­ber of lesser-known au­thors. The Win­nipeg launch of the book, pub­lished by At Bay Press, will fea­ture con­trib­u­tors Van Kun­der, MC Joudrey and An­ders Homenick. The launch is Tues­day at 7:30 p.m. at McNally Robin­son. Win­nipeg’s Mar­garet Sweat­man is help­ing one of Canada’s lead­ing pub­lish­ing houses cel­e­brate 60 years in op­er­a­tion this fall. Goose Lane Edi­tions, based in Fred­er­ic­ton, N.B., has emerged from years of change in the book business as ar­guably the most im­por­tant and longest­last­ing pub­lisher in the coun­try. The firm cel­e­brated the mile­stone an­niver­sary this week with par­ties in Fred­er­ic­ton and Toronto fea­tur­ing sev­eral of the na­tion­ally prom­i­nent writ­ers it pub­lishes, in­clud­ing Sweat­man ( Mr. Jones), Dou­glas Glover ( Sav­age Love), Gov­er­nor-Gen­eral’s Award­win­ning poet Don McKay ( An­gu­lar Un­con­for­mity) and Beth Pown­ing ( The Sea Cap­tain’s Wife). Young adult nov­els, fan­tasy epics and book from high school and col­lege read­ing lists are the dom­i­nant ti­tles in the “10 books that have stayed with you” meme that’s been sweep­ing through Face­book for the last few months. Face­book staff have an­a­lyzed a sam­ple of 130,000 sta­tus up­dates (mostly Amer­i­can and fe­male, with an av­er­age age of 37) to re­veal that the most common ti­tle is some­thing from the Harry Pot­ter se­ries. Round­ing out the top 10, in or­der: To Kill a Mock­ing­bird, The Lord of the Rings, The Hob­bit, Pride and Prej­u­dice, The Bi­ble, The Hitch­hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Hunger Games se­ries, The Catcher in the Rye and The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia. Just miss­ing the top 10 are The Great Gatsby and Nine­teen Eighty Four. Mar­garet At­wood is the top Cana­dian on the list, with The Hand­maid’s Tale in 18th po­si­tion, ap­pear­ing on 4.27 per cent of the sta­tus up­dates. Nov­el­ist, poet and lit­er­ary scholar Sue Sorensen ex­am­ines the var­i­ous ver­sions — “heroic, comic, shrewd and das­tardly” — of clergy in a new lit­er­ary study be­ing launched to­mor­row at McNally Robin­son Book­sellers. Sorensen, who teaches at Cana­dian Men­non­ite Univer­sity and is mar­ried to a pas­tor, will launch The Col­lar: Read­ing Christian Min­istry in Fic­tion, Tele­vi­sion and Film at 2 p.m. Kids to­day — al­ways tweet­ing and tex­ting and gaming. Why can’t they just read a book like in the old days? Turns out, they do. Ac­cord­ing to a Pew Re­search study of 6,000 Americans aged 16 and over, peo­ple un­der the age of 30 are more likely to read books than those over 30. The study found that 88 per cent of un­der-30s read at least one book last year, com­pared to 79 per cent of the over-30 group. Daily read­ing was re­ported by 43 per cent of the younger group, com­pared to 40 per cent of the older.

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