For What It's Worth

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Marked up excerpts from Willow by Julia Hoban

The following are excerpts (in italics) from Willow followed by author Julia Hoban's notes (in bold), from my "marked up" copy that I won at the Leave A Mark Auctions. For more information click HERE

*Tristes Tropiques is the book that first brings Willow and Guy together and it is very important to the story. Here is the excerpt from the book followed by Julia's reason (in bold) for choosing it. (refers to pg 10 hardcover)

Excerpt: "Do you know this book? I mean, have you read Tristes Tropiques before?" he asks as he takes it from her hands.
"Yes, a couple of times, actually," Willow says after a few seconds. She closes her eyes for a moment and pictures her parents' study with its wall of books. Tristes Tropiques, third shelf, second from the left.

Julia:  "Tristes Tropiques is in fact one of the most important anthropoligical works of the 20th century. But that isn't why I chose it. I chose it because I feel that the title has so much resonance. Even if you didn't take French in high school and don't know that "Tristes" means sad, it still comes across. So much so that when it was translated into English the pubs decided not to translate the title. It's very evocotive, don't you think?"

*The reason Julia chose the names Willow, Guy, David, Cathy and Isabelle. (pg19 hardcover)

Julia: "What kind of of images or qualities would most people associate with a name like Willow? I think the most likely adjectives would be along these lines: delicate, graceful, supple, frail, vulnerable yet strong, for Guy, I wanted a name that gave the idea of an everyman, but an exceptional everyman.
David - I think it is a very soild name....I can see a David shouldering all the burdens that David has to deal with. As for Cathy and Isabelle, can you guess? they are my little homage to the two main characters in Wuthering Heights, one of my favorite books in high school!"

*This is from the first time Willow has a conversation with Guy - about Tristes Tropiques, followed by Julia's explanation about how this book is about a love of books. (pg 56 hardcover)

Excerpt: "Still, as she watches him leave, she can't help feeling a small pang. She thinks that he must be the only person she's met in the last seven months who didn't say something stupid or insensitive about the fact that her parents are dead.
And the only one she has talked about Tristes tropiques with too"

Julia:  I said that in some ways this book is about the love of books themselves. this is one of the manifestationsof that: that to some extent Willow has started to bond with Guy through talking about books. And more specifically, she has bonded with him over abook that was very special to her parents.

*Julia wanted Guy to have spent time abroad and chose Kuala Lumpur - here is the reason for choosing that local and the problems that came from that choice. (pg 132 hardcover)

Julia: My husband and I always joked about eloping to Kuala Lumpur, so KL it became. The joke was on me though, because I thought it would be fun to have Guy speak a few sentences in Maylay. Only after a little research I found out just what a strange and convoluted language it is! The literal translation of  "I love you" in Maylay is "I have tumbled into your liver" Yes! You ead that correctly! So I decided to forgo the sentences in Malay.

I hope you will come back tomorrow to read more marked up passages from Willow. It's been really difficult to pick just a few! Hopefully even if you haven't read Willow - you won't be too lost and are still able to get a feel for the story - or at least enjoy the technical aspects of the writing process. For those of you that are already fans, what did you think? Did the excerpts with Julia's comments add insight to the book for you?

Click HERE for a chance to win a copy of Willow!

1 comment:

  1. Your so lucky to have won that book! This is fantastic that you shared this with us. I really really love that the love of books is so important in this book. I guess it just makes it so much more special to me since I love books so much.