Tuesday, 19 February 2008

The Dinner Lady

Ha ha. I found this on the Bookseller blog. A German book trade expert with scary eyebrows points out the raging success of Julia Franck's Die Mittagsfrau, suggesting it's symptomatic of a wider optimism in German publishing. She calls the book The Lunch Lady - presumably as in "ladies who lunch", or perhaps she's envisioning a dinner lady dolloping ladles of school food onto plastic plates.
Actually, had she read the book, she'd realise it refers to a mythical Sorb figure who makes women lose their minds if they don't spend an hour telling her how to spin flax: Lady Midday. I admit that information is buried fairly deeply in the novel, but perhaps a brief look at the publishers' website might have helped her with the title.
The book is as good as you'd expect of the "German Booker" winner, and is being translated into English. I think it might do quite well, given it's partly about the Nazis and has a strong character-led plot. You can read a translation of the first chapter on signandsight. Enjoy.

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