As of May 11th Umami is out in Italy and it looks like it's already finding its readers. Yesterday, Michela Murgia, a well known Italian novelist reviewed it in Quante Storie a program on Italian television RAI.
We will also have a book tour (my first ever!) this summer and I am very very much looking forward to it all. So I would like to say grazie mille to Giulia Zavagna (translator and editor) and Edizioni Sur (the publishing house) for making all of this possible.
When I was 15 we moved to Paris so my mom could do a postdoc. We had little money but whatever wasn't spent on necessities got divided into 3 envelopes so each of my parents and I could pick our goodies. I became a more avid, more independent reader thanks to those envelopes and to the French tradition of affordable "pocket" books. Each month, my few francs could get me a few "livres de poche", of which Folio was always my favorite publisher.
That is why it makes me all teary to share that UMAMI will soon be out there in its Folio form, and to imagine some teenager freely deciding to spend a part of her small, precious allowance on these stories.
Merci mille fois à Magali Langlade et aux éditions Folio. Merci aussi à Margot Nguyen Beraud pour la superbe traduction et aux éditions Buchet Chastel pour avoir d'abord amené Umami en France, en particulier à Christine Bonnard Legrand et Juliette Ponce.
Sortie en librairies, avril 13 / In bookstores from April 13th
A little post to celebrate my English publishers, Oneworld Publications, who not only won Independent Publisher of the Year at the British Book Industry Awards, but recently also snatched the Man Booker Prize for a second consecutive year! The Guardian just published a good profile of them: you can read it here.
Umami came out in the US and I've been receiving happy pictures from friends and family that spot it in big and small bookstores big and small, which makes me very happy.
And here are some of the exciting things that happened around the time of the launch:
The one and only Scott Simon interviewed me for his Weekend Edition Show at NPR.
Amazing Valeria Luiselli interviewed me for Bomb magazine.
Largehearted Boy invited me to write an UMAMI Playlist.
In the luminous Umami, Mexican author Laia Jufresa -skilled watercolorist of feelings- beautifully captures those moments after the mourning when life, like nature in spring, reasserts itself. Just as the sap returns to plants -painfully, yet urgently- here the weight of memory meets the imperious need to keep on going. (...) To invent a new language, to reclaim speech before it gets damaged in the silence... That's what this life manual -through the indefinable sweetness and delicatesse of the umami flavor- proposes.
Ariane Singer, Le Monde
From proofs to libraries in a few months. It has been a grand process. The translation by Margot Nguyen Béraud is impecable, the team at Buchet Chastel is lovely, and I really love the cover with it's Mexican plants and tiny corn-lady.
Umami was chosen to participate in the annual Festival for First Novels in Chambéry, France.
A great honor awarded to only one book per European country (Umami is representing Spain).
To celebrate we took it for a spin in Paris!
Here it is at the park Buttes Chaumont. (Note Montmartre's Sacre Coeur on the far left).
And here's my best friend from Lycée, all happy to FINALLY be able to read my work:
Si vous lisez en français, cliquez ici pour trouver un extrait d'Umami. (Les trois premiers chapitres, histoire de vous tempter :)
Taking shape, looking great, out July 7th!