Friday, 19 September 2014

The Housemaid's Daughter in 10!

We've reached a milestone: 10 languages!


Plus a couple of large print English versions.

For me, what's fascinating is the variety of covers. In most cases they have been designed to reflect the African heritage of the book - sometimes boldly, sometimes more subtly. But occasionally a publisher has taken a completely different tack, as with the Italian version. And beautiful it is, too. Several translations have paid homage to the music by including watermark musical notes in the background.

But the real difference between the covers lies in the human element: the portrayal of the heroines of The Housemaid's Daughter, Cath and Ada.
Sometimes they are both missing (Chinese and Spanish), sometimes Cath is romanticised (French), sometimes Ada has been made contemporary (Dutch) and sometimes - wonderfully - both have been caught in a moment of joy (Polish).
What do these interpretations say about national traits?
I wouldn't presume to know!
I'm just astonished at the creativity on display.

There are still a few translations to go... so watch this space!


  1. Hi Barbara,

    I can say it is the best book I have ever read. there are books which made me cry. This one didnt make me cry but took an un-replaceable place in my heart. Simply it is beyond amazing. One of the greatest cos it definitely challenges the entire way of thinking of an ordinary person. I can guess a book having this much of a impact on racism. It is like a huge slap on the face.

    I dont know whether the grandson of Ada is a real person. If so, he should be raised by you. thinking about it made me shivering cos that love is incomparable.

  2. Thank you for your kind words! Ada is a fictional character and so is her grandson, although I have met many people in SA who helped to bring Ada to life... Please spread the word about the book to your friends and family! Kind regards, Barbara