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New French title for The Graveyard Book

March 15, 2009

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Did you know that the French translation of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book has a different title?

graveyardbook graveyard-book-french1

The Strange Life of Nobody Owens

Personally, I like “The Graveyard Book” much better. Along with the U.S. cover art.

I wonder who gets to make a decision like changing a book’s title? Or why it was made? Did Neil Himself (ha,ha for Twitterers) have any say in the decision? I know this happens quite often – a great example is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was changed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone here in the U.S. But I’ve never really stopped to think about what role, if any, the author has in that change.

harrypotterphilosopher harry-potter-sorcerers

Train of thought leads me to something I just remembered from the Marilynne Robinson reading I attended in October. Marilynne’s Gilead – one of my favorite books – is told in first person as a man writing letters to his son. While the title and author are printed at the top of the every page in many books, the publishers decided to leave this information off of the pages of Gilead, in order to maintain the feeling for readers that they are reading personal letters/a journal and not a published book. What an excellent decision. But, when I checked the copy of Gilead that I bought in the U.K., the title and author were there.

Off to continue my lazy Sunday and finish The Red Tent. You might notice I’ve added a blogroll. There are so many great blogs out there that I get overwhelmed seeing blogrolls of 10, 20, 30 blogs, so I just added a couple that I really think are worth checking out.

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