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Friday, October 21, 2011

French Literature

I made a mistake today. I opened the Barnes and Noble home page. From the home page, I started following book title after book title, from reviews to authors to titles again, then back to reviews. I felt like I was tracing a spider web of literary achievement. This
maze-like odyssey started innocently enough.
The first book I looked at on the website was In the Woods by Tana French. The simple reason I found this 2008 novel published by the Penguin Group was the word FRENCH.
I had searched Barnes and Noble for a current title in literary fiction that was written in french. Too much for the search engine to handle, it gave me a close second, a book written by French.
When I initiated a search after the Tana French lead, I changed the command to “Recent novels written in FRENCH.” I bet you can guess what happened. I’ll help. I got Tana French’s 2009 book, The Likeness. My third original phrase was French language book. In response to that search, I discovered that Tana French authored Faithful Place in 2011.
What happened next was my undoing. I started reading the list of books I might like to read if I had enjoyed Tana French’s work. I started reading reviews indiscriminately. The more I wanted to leave to return to search for a book in french, the more I felt drawn to the thousands of amazing reads available in English. Finally, my eyes alighted upon Firefly Lane by Kirsten Hannah. It was published in 2009 by St. Martin’s Press. If you are curious, Barnes and Noble describes it in the following way,

“From the New York Times bestselling author of On Mystic Lake comes a powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship. . . .”

In my opinion, that could describe a broad number of novels. “A powerful novel of love, loss, and the magic of friendship.” Something about that phrase resonated in a particular way. What could it be? In a rush to solve this perplexing mystery, I opened my own folder called The Growing Season. This is the working title of the novel I am trying to publish. In a letter that I wrote to an agent last year, I found this phrase, “The Growing Season is a moving novel about love, loss and the power of redemption.”
I knew there was something familiar about the description about Kirsten Hannah’s book. However, there was one HUGE difference. Her book has been published and thrives in today’s market. Such a realization can be a blow to a writer's fragile ego. Shopping at Barnes and Noble or on Amazon tend to have that affect on me. I look at the scads of books for sale and I wonder, if they were published, why not mine?

Back to the precipitating impetus for my search. I discovered that, by going to www.Amazon.fr, virtually ALL the titles are in french. Now it becomes a matter of choosing the best one....without the teeth of jealous envy taking a bite out of me.
Day 39

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