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Dear Mr. Hayes

My first two books were recently published in translated editions in Korea.  I wasn't involved in the translations and knew virtually nothing about their publication.  But...a few days after a story about me and my writing appeared in a Seoul newspaper, I received this surprising email message, via my Red Room site.  I found it so charming and cheerful, I couldn't resist sharing it.  Thanks to the "inter-web" and, especially, the Red Room, it is a small world--small and awfully sweet--isn't it?  Here it is, a letter from my translator:

Dear Mr. Hayes,

Hello. My name is JiYun Lee and I'm in Seoul, Korea.

I was suprized in the morning of Sat when I got my Chosun Ilbo, which is
the most famous newspaper in this country and I also have it delivered to
my house every morning. It carried your face and the article on the almost
whole page. I was like "I know him! but how did he get in there..?" Then I
saw it was an interview (did the journalist really visited you there?) and
saw mentions on the new released books(in Korea)of yours.

In fact, I had the honor and pleasure of translating your book 'Sleep
Demons'. It was a very very amazing, entertaining, and moving story. I hope
such knowledge and feelings of your book to be delivered to the Korean
readers, too, with the new translated book. (I did my best!) It was one of
the luckiest and  things happend in my life to have such an opportunity.
So I feel very familiar with you after reading and translating your book
(of course, it's a one-way thing, you do not know me exsist), and I thought
I should say hello and thank you via e-mail.

I sometimes stop by at this Red Room blog and I saw you have readings
soon. I really really wish I could be there!! T.T So sad I can't be in the
US. Anyways, thank you for giving such good books to the world. I am
looking forward to reading your next books.

I'm sorry about this lousy e-mail. (I'm no good at English writing.)
I was just happy to see you on the newspaper and really had to say hello!

Take care!

Best wishes,
JiYun

Comments
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What a great story! It made

What a great story! It made me wonder deeply for the first time about the people who translated my two books into Portuguese and Polish. Like you I knew nothing about these translations, and it was only through major wrangling that I even got 1 copy of each of the translated versions.

Matgorzata Strzelec and Mauro Silva. One Polish, one Brazilian. I just now googled both of them... and Nothing (unless MY Mauro Silva is the famous soccer player who translates books in his spare time, and I somehow doubt that). Did they enjoy what they were translating? Did they disagree with what I said? Were they accurate? How strange that they each spent so much time with me... and they might also fairly say to me, "you do not know me exist."

 

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That's beautiful, Bill

I've had correspondents whose first language wasn't English apologize for their language right writing gorgeous sentiments like your Korean translator's. I want to tell them, "No! You're doing just fine!" You must feel lucky that someone so sensitive was chosen to translate your books.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Congrats and who is the Korean Publisher

My memoir has been sold to Myung Jin Publications in South Korea. Don't suppose that is your publisher?? And how long did it take you to get the advance on the book (if you don't mind me asking). Feel free to email me if you prefer. Thanks!

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That's a Wonderful Story!

I really enjoyed reading this!  Thanks so much for sharing it.

Two of my poetry collections were published in other countries (Finland and Russia), but both were published in English.  I've had individual pieces published in several languages, including Finnish and Flemish, among others, but this would be a real treat for me.

Cheers!