Donnerstag, 28. Mai 2015

Serendipity: Abandoned Cat becomes a Family's Protector

Solomon’s story began one stormy night…
Found on the doorstep in the middle of a thunderstorm, Solomon enters the King family as a tiny, wet ball of fur. But as his new owner Ellen coaxes him back to life, it becomes clear
that he is no ordinary cat. Wise beyond his years, this little black and white kitten becomes the family’s protector. As Ellen and her young son deal with abuse, homelessness, and the loss of everything they hold dear, it is Solomon who brings light to the darkest times.

Inspiring, moving and heartbreaking, ‘Solomon’s Tale’ is the story of an extraordinary cat who is the most faithful of friends. The perfect read for fans of ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’

It only makes sense to explore the subject of serendipity at the world’s largest international fair for book lovers, the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014, since serendipity, literature, and translation have been intertwined from the very beginning. Serendipity, which has been voted one of the top ten English words hardest to translate, means a fortunate happenstance or pleasant surprise.
The origin of the word SERENDIPITY can be traced back to Horace Walpole, who in 1754 wrote a letter to a friend in which he referred to an unexpected discovery he had made by referencing the Persian fairy tale “The Three Princes of Serendip.” The princes, he wrote, were “always making discoveries, by accidents and by sagacity, finding things which they were not in quest of.”

Going back in time, we find even more twists in a time before foreign rights sales: “The Three Princes of Serendip” is the English version of the “Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo,” which was published in 1557 by Michele Tramezzino, and was about three princesses looking for a lost camel. Tramezzino claimed that he heard the story from someone called Christophero Armeno who had translated the Persian fairy tale into Italian, adapting Book One of Amir Khusrau’s Hasht-Bihisht from 1302. The story first came to English via a French translation, which now seems to be out of print. Serendip is the Persian and Urdu name for Sri Lanka. Coincidentally, or by serendipity, the story had been used a few years earlier by Voltaire in his 1747 Zadig, and through this contributed to both the evolution of detective fiction. It may in fact be detective fiction that has nurtured my inquisitive nature and makes me ask you, too, dear reader, to share your serendipity story in the comment section below. Here are some stories we already received, which we’re pleased to share.

“One of our more serendipitous encounters concerned a sweet little memoir called Solomon’s Tale which was originally self-published by the author, Sheila Jeffries. My colleague Judith Murdoch, had been sent the book with a view to finding a UK trade publisher. However, a chance meeting with the scout Daniela Schlingman led to the book being sold first to Weltbild and Univers Poche, before a UK deal could be struck. Eventually, Avon bought the UK and Commonwealth rights and the book went straight into the Sunday Times non-fiction bestseller lists and stayed there for many weeks.”

— Rebecca Winfield,  

literary agent at David Luxton Assoc

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