Friday, November 22, 2013

A letter from abroad

I received a letter I wanted to share that brightened my day!

Hello! My name is Lucia Ayala, I'm Uruguayan and I'm a Certified Translation Student. I am currently working on my English final assignment, and I chose to translate your short story "From Joy we Come, Unto Joy we Return." I chose it because it inspired me as a woman, and I wanted to translate something meaningful and well-written. Finally, after reading dozens of stories, I decided to translate yours.

My final assignment is due next week, and it is an annotated translation accompanied by an essay. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions, such as your motivation and background investigation when writing "From Joy we Come, Unto Joy we Return," as well as other questions regarding language choice and the characters.

Thank you very much!

Lucia Ayala


My response. 

I'd love to and thank you of thinking of my short for your assignment. 

     I was attending the University of Central Florida at the time. I was dating an Indian named Simon. He was a nice guy, nothing like the character in the story. I was also taking a cultural class about India. I remember researching many indian histories and stories at the time at the local Barnes N Noble. I'd sit for hours reading through indian material. Mostly this was out of curiosity and wanting to get the right feel for the story. 
     I was also reading the book No Pain Like This Body by Harold Sonny Ladoo. You can find more information on him here I loved the way he wrote his sounds into the story after the verbs. Example: feet went spunk spunk spunk in the water. 
I highly recommend reading his book. It is a very good piece of literature and often overlooked by western people.
     I remember the title of his book influencing me and how I felt the title to be very profound in how our lives are so full of pain. I used Indian names I gathered from Simon and from my parents. They had a few Indian patients at the office. My father works as a dentist.
     I wanted to write something that dove into the female condition in a poor, male dominated home. I wanted the story to reflect the pain many women might have felt. I was compelled to write something that translated into some kind of human condition. 
     There are many good Indian men, but one of the story's intentions was to give a voice to those women who had been abused.
     Originally, the story did not end hopeful. The story ended with  Sobha rocking under the house in the rain, but I changed the ending to give more hope and because I wanted to be true to the character and I felt she would have had more strength, especially for her daughter if not for herself.          
     I won the best fiction award from my university in 1997 for this story and achieved the semi-finals of the Laurel Hemingway short story contest that same year. The university printed my story in the on campus library magazine and the cover had been designed around an Indian theme. You can find the literary magazine at universities and libraries around america. The magazine is called CYPRESS DOME. 
     I had to read the first paragraph aloud in front a group of people after winning the best fiction award of 1997 at UCF. Nerve racking:)

     I hope this answers some of those questions and please let me know if you have any more. Thank you again for choosing my short for your assignment and on a side note, I am always looking for good translators to translate my other novels into various languages. What languages to you translate? 


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