Madonna brings Faroe Islanders to book
They are so excited on the Faroe Islands that silver buckles on ceremonial cardigans are being vigorously polished. But it is not a bumper herring catch that has them worked up in the frigid north Atlantic – it is Madonna.
Fewer than 150 books a year are published in Faroese, the native tongue of this remote island chain that lies 200 miles north-west of Shetland. But come 15 September the inhabitants are to be blessed with their own version of The English Rose, Madonna’s first stab at children’s literature.
That is cause for great celebration. The book is being launched simultaneously in more than 100 countries and the Faroese are simply delighted that they will be part of a global event.
Madonna is going head to head with David Beckham as the pair launch books within three days of each other this month. Around the world, bookshops are preparing to be swamped and publishers are relishing the prospect of huge sales.
While Beckham’s autobiography, My Side, is due out on 13 September and is expected to fly off shelves in the Far East and Europe, Madonna has the Faroese market stitched up.
She will host parties to celebrate the launch with 300 children in London. The next day in Paris children from several countries are expected to gather with the cultural icon.
Meanwhile, 1,000 copies of the Faroese translation will have arrived in Tórshavn, capital of the Faroes, after a three-day journey by road and sea from the printers in northern Italy. Traditional wool-knit cardigans worn only on special occasions will be on display as islanders march out of turf-roofed houses to greet the books’ arrival.
Source: Stephen Khan, The Observer