Thursday, July 09, 2009

What Does Chinese Candy Taste Like ...

I wrote earlier about the availability of my novel Candy from Strangers in a traditional Chinese translation. Well, I managed to get my hot little hands on some copies. Here's one sitting on my living room table.

You can see that the front cover is on the side English readers would expect the back to be. That's because the pages are turned from left to right. Another difference is the characters inside are printed in vertical columns--including the footnotes! Footnotes, you may ask, what are footnotes doing in a novel?

They are there to explain colloquial expressions or cultural references that Chinese readers couldn't be expected to know. For example, what "hair of the dog" means and who the heck Herb Caen was.

Turns out there a fair number of footnotes in Candy, but I'm pleased to hear it's not deterring sales, which I'm told are actually pretty good. Who knows, maybe I'll be to Taiwan what Jerry Lewis is to France ...


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