One of the delights of having your books published in other countries is to attempt to assess how it is being received by non-English speaking readers. Of the dozen or so countries that have published my works, perhaps the most interesting responses have come from Turkey where PAPERBOY was bought several years ago by Kirmizi Kedi Publishing.
PAPERBOY, or Gazeteci Cocuk, which translates as “journalist boy” in Turkish, has gone through multiple printings in that country. Several colleagues with more of a world view than I possess, say the popularity of the book in Turkey no doubt is driven by the fact that it is being used along with the English version in English as a Second Language classes in that country. I’m told that citizens of Turkey have an overwhelming desire to learn to speak and read English.
Google Translate is not always dependable, but occasionally it has a touching and colloquial ring to it that is mesmerizing. I share with you verbatim the translation of this posting on Instagram from a Turkish book-blogger known as “Birannebirhayat:”
I haven’t been here in almost a month. Of course, my own reading and a lot of books that I’ve read with my son have accumulated quite a lot during that time. I was at war with the lack of vitamins, bars, cinkolarin, magnezumlarin, and I was too busy to realize that motherhood was a scrap. Ah, yet I’ve been able to soothe my soul a little with books. This book is one of the beauty that accompanies me in these moments.
The book contains a beautiful story that begins with Victor, a stutter child, who has taken over his friend’s duty to distribute newspapers for a while. We are witnessing how a child struggles with his kekemeligiyle (stuttering) in his soul and in his life. We should read and let our children read to feel the children who are concerned about their difference, who feel helpless and need to be understood. I think it would be very useful to the families and teachers. Have a pleasant reading.
I’m happy to report that COPYBOY is also joining the foreign ranks. My agent recently has received offers from Turkish, Japanese and Romanian publishers.
While I am happily taken aback by foreign sales of my books, I do think both PAPERBOY and COPYBOY contain themes that are universal, especially as we seek to understand our differences as individuals and as countries.
As Birannebirhayat says so well, “Have a pleasant reading.”