Friday, 15 April 2011

Anyone for Lithuanian?

I have been lashed to my computer all week, and am still in the throes of the rewriting stage.  As always, I did an almost complete rewrite of the first three chapters, but the others have been going faster.  Am now on Chapter 7, but things are likely to slow down again soon, as I only have a rough draft of the last three chapters.  Still, am hoping to send it in on Monday as I promised my editor.

Meanwhile, there has been plenty of displacement activity too, with more translations dropping through the door.  One was a Korean edition of a very old book, The Beckoning Flame (1993) which was a rather silly story set in a Scottish castle, and the other from the opposite end of my writing career with a Lithuanian edition of Oh-So-Sensible Secretary (2010).  This is a book that hasn’t done well in any contests, but has had a fantastically quick international pick up - I’ve no idea why.

It did take me a little while to work out what the language was, as it looked completely unfamiliar. I picked up Vilnius from the title page, but am ashamed to say I had to check whether it was in Lithuania or Latvia.  I used to be brilliant at capital cities and dialling codes when I worked on the foreign newsdesk at The Observer, but I’ve definitely lost my touch since then. 

Anyway, I’ve never had one of my books translated into Lithuanian before, so I was very pleased about that, and wasted half an hour flicking through it and marvelling that such a complex looking language could make sense to anyone.  Although I have learnt that vasara means summer in Lithuanian, so perhaps it wasn't wasted time after all.  You never know when that will come in handy.

This book even has explanatory footnotes. One of them seems to be about New Age stuff (astrologijos, ezoterikos, alternatyviosios medicinos) so I’m guessing it’s the scene with Summer and her wacky mother, but I’ve no idea what the others are about. 

So if there’s anybody out there who reads Lithuanian, let me know and I’ll put the book in the post to you!

Have a good weekend!



  1. I like that cover. I think you get full points for narrowing it down to Lithuania or Latvia. I have an embarrassingly small knowledge of languages and could not have picked that to save my life =)

  2. I LOVED Oh-So-Sensible Secretary, so congratulations on its quick pick up in the international markets and, boo to the poor response of the judges.

  3. Thanks, Nan, but contests are alway subjective - and there are lots of great books out there. We can't win 'em all!

    I didn't recognise the language, Lacey. Had to work it out from the fact that it was published in Vilnius, and the suffix at the end of the publishers website. It's amazing what you can find out on the internet ...

  4. Hi Jessica,

    It was so nice to find this post! I've just read this book (and yes, in Lithuanian), and I loved it so much that wanted to google if you have published more (and happy to find out that it's the case) :)
    If you have any questions about the footnotes or the language, will be more than glad to help with it. ...and hope to see more translations coming out soon!

    Best regards,