Monday, June 17, 2013

Readers write about With the Lapps in the High Mountains

When a book is a hundred years old, translated from Danish, and published by a university press, you can't count on finding your readers, much less wowing them. I do hope that Emilie Demant Hatt's narrative about the Sami in 1907-8 finds an academic audience, of course. She is an early example of a collaborative ethnographer and participant-observer who paid special attention to the lives of women and children, which surely makes her unique in the annals of early anthropology.

But I'm happy to report that during my readings the last month I've noticed readers falling for Demant Hatt's lively writing and sense of humor. Here are a few comments that people were kind enough to send me:

I just finished the book and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it!  Emilie Demant Hatt’s writing, as translated and edited by you, was very engaging…I really felt like I was there with her every step of the way on those arduous treks.  I had begun to get an idea of Sami life from Palace of the Snow Queen, but this book greatly increased my understanding and respect for a truly remarkable people. 
I finished With the Lapps in the High Mountains and absolutely loved it. No wonder you were so taken with her story. And your translation is so fresh and flows beautifully. I really could not put it down and found every little bit of her observations of Sami life fascinating. She comes across as such a good sport and never whines--I loved her understated mention of hardships.
 I am enchanted with your book With the Lapps. It is mesmerizing.