Author Topic: Noah Gordon, a writer famous only in translation  (Read 73 times)

German Translator

Noah Gordon, a writer famous only in translation
« on: November 25, 2021, 04:36:32 AM »
Noah Gordon (https://noahgordon.com/) died November 22, age 95. He wrote such novels as The Physician and the Jerusalem Diamond.

A recent article The most phenomenally successful Jewish author you’ve probably never heard of https://forward.com/culture/473274/he-may-be-the-worlds-most-successful-jewish-writer-noah-gordon-the-rabbi/ discussed the fact that he was much more popular in Spain or in Germany than in the US:

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His book sales are over 25 million and his name is often mentioned in the same breath as Ken Follett’s. He’s a household name, just not in the United States.

In 1986 he published The Physician:

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He knew he had a masterpiece, but on his website, he explains, “there was bad luck in its American publication; my editor left at the worst possible moment.” The book was “orphaned,” he laments, with no one at Simon and Schuster, to champion it. When all seemed lost, it caught the eye of a German publisher, Karl H. Blessing, looking for new fiction for Droemer Knaur, a Munich based company. According to Gordon, “he made certain that every clerk in every bookstore in Germany received a reading copy.”

Blessing’s investment paid off, Gordon became an overnight success across Europe. While “The Physician” initial print run in the United States was 10,000 books, the German edition, “Der Medicus,” has sold over six million copies. At his peak in the 1990s, six of Gordon’s books simultaneously ranked on the German bestseller list. Still, his son and manager Michael Gordon, a Barcelona-based literary agent, says, “Spain is the country most in love with Noah.” According to Spanish author and bookstore owner Laura Riñón, “Most households in Spain have a copy of ‘The Physician.’ Even those who aren’t readers, read it.”


Just a few of the books I have translated (English <-> German)
 
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