Voir à La Fille De L’Hiver

Bonjour mes amis du livre,

Of the foreign editions of The Snow Child, I have been most looking forward to seeing the French copy. I took four years of high school French. Both my parents spoke a little French as I was growing up — my dad spent part of his childhood in France. And, perhaps this needn’t even be said, I would love to go there some day.

So I was so excited when Tracy Williams with Little, Brown and Co. forwarded this cover from Fleuve Noir to me earlier this week:

I have to say, I love it. And not just because it’s my French cover. I love the snowy scene, which is so evocative of winter in Alaska. And the girl and the fox lend such movement and excitement to the image. The title translates into The Daughter of Winter, which I also think is lovely.

Alas, it has been 20 years since my last French lesson, and I’m afraid many of Madame Koivunen’s lessons have slipped my mind. In fact, a few years ago a French couple came into Fireside Books. I could catch words here and there as they looked over the shelves and talked with each other, and I said so to my coworker.

“Say something in French to them!” She kept prodding me during their visit. “Come on! They’re leaving,” she said as they headed out the door.

I saw my chance slipping away, so I burst out, “Bonjour!”

To which the lovely French woman gave a small, sweet smile, waved her hand and, with a slight raise of her eyebrows, said “Au revoir?” as if to ask “Didn’t you mean goodbye instead of hello?”

Ah well. I’m not sure how much of La Fille de L’Hiver I’ll actually be able to read, but I can’t wait to give it a try.

A la votre!


P.S. Thought I’d raise the copy-editing challenge for my mom, Julie LeMay, this week by throwing in a bit of French. 🙂


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 08:45:33

    Dear Eowyn,
    Bonjour ! I’m Deborah, your French editor and I just saw your comment on our cover. So glad to know you like it! We love it here, just as we love your wonderful novel, and we’ll do our best to bring it to French readers everywhere. It’s coming out in January and all our fingers and toes are crossed but if the reactions (and tears) from readers inhouse are anything to go by it can only be a smashing success!
    Here’s to your lovely snow child,
    All best

    • Eowyn Ivey
      Sep 21, 2011 @ 09:03:52

      Dear Deborah – what a delight to see you here on my blog! The cover design is truly beautiful. To be honest, I can’t stop looking at it. And I’m so pleased to hear people are enjoying the book so far. Merci beaucoup!

  2. Sue Mathis
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 09:06:42

    Beautiful! Just beautiful!!

  3. mrs r
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 11:07:36

    The cover is beautiful, Eowyn! It reminds me a little of the landscape around Sheep Mountain. What an awesome title, too!

    My college French teacher, Madame Guisti, would probably not be surprised at all that I had to look up “a la votre” before responding. =) I had a similar experience when shopping in Target a while back and hearing a mom in another aisle admonish her little guy in German. My parents told me I should have said something to her but I was afraid she would have responded in German and I’d have quickly been in over my head. “Ich will schadenfreude vermeiden.” – or I’ll avoid giving others pleasure at my misfortune, thanks.

  4. Valérie
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 05:18:05

    I’m French and I’ve been fortunate enough to read your novel in the French version (with this beautiful cover) before publication. Congratulations: for a first novel, it’s a “coup de maître”, as we, the French, say.
    When I was reading your novel, I was in Alaska, with Mabel and Jack and it was an incredible experience. I was wondering if you were considered coming to France (I would very much like to have my copy signed by you).
    Let me also tell you that you have reconcilied me with Alaska. Just before reading The Snow child, I read Caribou Island… 😉

    • Eowyn Ivey
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 12:55:50

      Dear Valerie — Thank you so much for your comments. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my book. I actually will be in France, in September 2012, for the Festival America near Paris. I don’t know if I’ll be visiting any bookstores during my stay, but I’ll post an update of my schedule on this blog when the date gets closer. Thank you again, and happy New Year!

  5. Valérie
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 08:22:00

    Thank you for answering me, Eowyn. I’ll do my best to come and see you there as I know it is open to the public.

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