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我是怎樣爲《靜水流深》找到英文出版社的?How Did I Find an English Lang

For a period of time, I often received questions from friends, asking “How did you manage to find a publisher for your book?” Some fellow Chinese writers even thought that I had some special connections; and asked whether I could help them to find an English language publisher too. Well, here is the “mysterious” “behind the scenes” process.
   有一段時間經常有人問我:「你怎麼找到那麼好的英文出版社的?」也有的中文作家朋友以爲我有什麼特殊關係,問我能不能也幫他們聯繫到一個出版社。昨天整理文件,看到一篇報導,倒讓我想起,應該分享一下我是怎樣找到英文出版社的「神祕」過程。
   One day in 2002, several months after I escaped from China after being imprisoned and tortured in Beijing Female Forced Labor Camp for practicing Falun Gong, a friend asked me whether I’d like to attend the monthly meeting of the “Melbourne Chinese Studies Group”, as the topic of that night was about the labor camp system in China.
   那還是在2002年春,我剛剛從中國逃出來不久。我因修煉法輪功被關在北京女子勞教所,承受和見證了許多驚天罪行。逃到澳洲墨爾本幾個月後,有朋友問我,願不願意去參加「墨爾本中國問題研究小組」的月度講座,因爲當天晚上的主題演講是關於中國的勞教制度。
   So I went to the meeting with several friends. They had invited a doctoral student from a university to talk about the labor camp system in China. After the presentation finished, an audience member asked a question, to which the speaker didn’t have a good answer.

   於是我就跟著幾個朋友去了。當晚的演講嘉賓是一個大學的博士研究生。他的演講結束後,有一位聽衆問了一個問題,但這位博士卻答不太上來。
   As a labor camp survivor who had just recently escaped, I could see that obviously the speaker’s “abstract” knowledge about Chinese labor camps was very much “out of date” and “out of touch” of the reality. After the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, the labor camp system in China had become a main tool to persecute Falun Gong. But the speaker didn’t touch upon this at all.
   作爲一名剛剛逃離勞教所的倖存者,我能看出,那位演講嘉賓對中國勞教制度的認識僅限於書本,且大大過時了。因爲自1999年中共開始對法輪功的迫害之後,勞教所已經基本淪爲專爲迫害法輪功而存在的工具了,而這位嘉賓顯然根本沒有涉及這個問題。
   But I didn’t say anything; as I didn’t know whether it was appropriate to contradict him publicly. I wasn’t invited to speak after all.
   不過,我沒有當衆指出他的「無知」,因爲我不想使他難堪。
   But I did feel obligated to give a more satisfactory answer to the gentleman who raised the question. So I approached him after everything was finished; and told him that I could tell him more about the Chinese labor camps, since I just escaped from one.
   但我覺得,我有義務向那位提問的聽衆去講清楚。於是等一切活動結束後,我徑直走到那位先生身邊,告訴他我就是從勞教所出來的,可以詳細告訴他他想了解的事情。
   It turned out that this gentleman, Mr. Rowan Callick, was a senior journalist and columnist of a very good publication, “Australian Financial Review”. He later conducted an interview with me and wrote up a lengthly report of two full pages.
   (available at: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferzeng97/posts/984182328349073)
   一番談話之後,我才得知,原來這位先生是《澳大利亞金融評論(Australian Financial Review)》的資深專欄作者和記者。他後來又專門採訪了我,寫了一個整整兩版的長篇報導。(報導摘要可見:https://www.facebook.com/jenniferzeng97/posts/984182328349073)
   Then Lyn Gallacher, the host of "Book Talk" program with ABC radio, read the report; and contacted me for a radio interview. During the live interview, I shared my experiences in the labor camp; as well as why I escaped: because I wanted to write a book to expose it all.
   澳洲ABC電臺「談書(Book Talk)」節目主持人Lyn Gallacher看到了這篇報導,並邀請我到她的節目中做嘉賓。採訪時,我談到了勞教所中的種種黑幕,也談到了我正在寫一本書,以便向全世界揭露中共迫害法輪功的驚天罪行。
   The interview was aired nation wide from Melbourne. As she was listening to it, an editor of Allen & Unwin in Sydney became so caught up and excited that she immediately jumped up, ran to her boss and said,”Hurry, we have to get hold of this book!”
   節目是以現場直播方式從墨爾本向全澳洲广播的。結果悉尼一名Allen & Unwin出版社的編輯聽到了,被深深打動,立即跳起來找到出版社負責人說:「我們必須拿下這本書!」
   So I soon got an email from Allen & Unwin, the original publisher of the “Lord of the Rings” by the way, saying that they got my email address from Lyn Gallacher of ABC; and that they hoped I wouldn’t mind them contacting me; as they were interested in my book.
   不久我就接到了來自Allen & Unwin(《魔戒》一書的原始出版者)的電子郵件,說他們對我的書有興趣。
   I was very surprised and replied, “Thank you for your interest. But I am writing in Chinese; and I haven’t finished yet.”
   我有些吃驚,回覆說:「謝謝你們的興趣。不過我是用中文寫作的,而且我還沒寫完呢。」
   I thought that would be the end of the story, as they only published English language books. At that stage I really never dreamed about an English version of my book. The only thought on my mind was all about how to finish my writing in Chinese and have it published as soon as possible. So many fellow Falun Gong practitioners were still suffering the persecution day and night, and could be killed at any minute.
   我想事情就應該到此爲止了吧。我那時真的從沒想過要出英文書。我滿腦子想的都是趕快把中文版寫完發表,因爲還有那麼多法輪功學員日日夜夜都在承受痛苦,甚至隨時可能失去生命。
   To my surprise, the editor wrote back by saying that it didn't matter that I was writing in Chinese; nor did it matter that I hadn’t finished yet. I could send the first three chapters to someone who understood Chinese. They would ask that person to evaluate my book. If they believed the book was good enough after they received an evaluation report, they could arrange English translation as well as publication.
   令我更加吃驚的是,他們居然回覆說,中文寫的不要緊,沒寫完也不要緊。我可以把書的前三章發給他們指定的一個懂中文的評估員,請她評估我的書。如果他們認爲夠好,他們可以安排將我的書翻譯成英文出版。
   So I sent the first three chapters to Sue Wiles, who had studied Chinese at Beijing Language and Culture University; and who later became the translator for my book. After reading the three chapters, Sue came up with a two page evaluation report and spoke very highly about what I wrote so far.
   於是我就將書的前三章發給了他們指定的Sue Wiles女士。她在北京語言學院學過中文,後來我的書就是她翻譯成英文的。她讀完我發給她的前三章後,寫了一個兩頁紙的評估報告,對我的書做出很高評價。
   After reading Sue's report; and after at least two rounds of discussions within the editorial management team, Allen & Unwin decided to translate my book into English and publish it according. At that stage I had only finished about half of it.
   出版社管理層看了報告後,又開了至少兩輪會議討論,最終決定買下我的書的版權,並由他們出資請人翻譯成英文出版。合同簽定時,我的書剛剛完成一半。
   Later on my editor Jo Paul told me that it was the first time in her career, or perhaps in Allen & Unwin's history as she was aware of, that they decided to publish a book which they didn't understand, which they had not read ; and which had not been finished yet.
   後來我的書的編輯Jo Paul告訴我,在她的職業生涯中,在她所了解到的Allen & Unwin的歷史上,這是他們第一次決定出版一本他們沒看過,也看不懂,且還沒有寫完的書。
   Jo only had the chance to read the translated manual script of my book about one year after she signed the publication contract with me. She said she sat in her room and finished reading it in one go; and was very much impressed. After the book, “Witnessing History: One Woman’s Fight for Freedom and Falun Gong” finally hit the market in March, 2005, it sold very well; and was re-printed twice within three months.
   大約一年以後,翻譯才完成。我的編輯告訴我,拿到翻譯手稿後,她坐在家裏一動不動,一口氣看完了全書,內心深受震撼,當然也深深慶幸當初自己沒有看錯。 《Witnessing History: One Woman’s Fight for Freedom and Falun Gong(見證歷史:一位女性爲自由和法輪功的奮鬥歷程)》這本書於2005年3月在澳洲上市後,兩個月內就再刷了兩次,令她和出版社非常欣慰。
   One year later, in May 2006, my book was re-published by SOHO press in the US as well. At that stage the Chinese version had also been published in Taiwan for two years. I was lucky enough to find a Chinese language publisher in Taiwan almost as soon as I finished the writing at in 2003; and the Chinese book was published in January 2004, one year before the Australian English edition. Therefore in 2006 I ended up having three different editions of my book: Chinese edition, Australian English Edition and US English Edition.

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