HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING to one and all. Our tradition is one shared by many families… we sit at a festive table, and just before digging into the “turkey with all the trimmings,” we each say what we are most thankful for.
This year, I am grateful that I have finished my novel, The Woman Who Wanted the Moon. Yipee! My final edit is almost done, and the book will be published next month. However, I am stumped on one issue… and maybe you can help?
Tell me what you think…
- When you are reading fiction that is set in another country, do you enjoy it when the author uses names or dialogue in the language of the place?
Here’s an example:
A once-attractive woman glared at me through the gate. “¿Que quiere?” she asked in a tone that reminded me of a hawker from the market.
“Buenos días,” I replied as cheerfully as I could. I knew if I showed my irritation, I wouldn’t discover why this stranger had occupied my property.
“Where are the rest of your aunties and uncles?”
“Most of my tias work at the maquiladora a few kilometers away, and the men hang out down at the Presidencia.”
I’d heard about this. Several months back, the ejido—the countryside cooperative system—had been dismantled. The agrarian reform of the 1930s had never met its expectations; nonetheless, it took more than fifty years to break up the institutions and unions.
- Does it irritate you if you don’t fully understand everything that’s written, or do you enjoy the little challenge of figuring it out?
- Do you think that the use of the other language adds authenticity to the setting? Or does it sound presumptuous?
- If another language is used, do you like it when a translation is provided?
“Is this place still on the market, or have you purchased it?” I asked.
She straightened her back. “This dump? No way. Un abogado—a lawyer—moved me in here.”
- Do you think the odd word of the other language is romantic?
The temperature drops significantly after dark, and it’s easy to forgive the scorching daytime heat when the world is bathed in luz de luna—moon sparkle.
I’ll appreciate hearing your thoughts. Leave a comment or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org