Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Housemaid's Daughter... by another name

I have a very creative member of my family who decided to make a mosaic of the foreign translations of The Housemaid's Daughter!

It's fascinating to see the various covers alongside one another, and compare them for appeal and tone.

So here they are, in loosely top to bottom order

The Housemaid's Daughter
Une Chanson pour Ada (French)
Sobaricina kci (Croatian)
De Kleur van haar Hart (Dutch)
La Hija de la Criada (Spanish)
La bambina dagli occhi di cielo (Italian)
Dottir Hushjalparinnar (Icelandic)
Kolor jej serca (Polish)
and the Chinese...

You will also notice that there are different versions of the same translation. This is to cater for bespoke Book Club editions, Large Print, and compact "airport" editions. Missing from the lineup are the German version Schwarze Tochter, and the newly published Portuguese version A Cor do Coracao. I hope to get copies of these soon, to add to the picture.

In most cases, the foreign publishers have chosen to keep the African theme of sunset and an iconic acacia tree. However, the Dutch and Italians took a different tack, highlighting the child Ada playing with a doll, or at the piano, both of which are charming images. I am also thrilled that most covers show a faint music watermark in the background, reflecting the powerful part that music plays in the story of Ada, Cath, and Dawn.

The first time my fingers touched the ivory keys I knew music would lift my heart...

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