Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thrill of the Chinese

A representative of FES (Fellowship of Evangelical Students) Press, which is introducing the Chinese-language edition of my book The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On at a Hong Kong book fair next month, e-mailed me yesterday:

I would like to ask you something, which seems to be cultural-specific that Chinese readers may not understand and will not be able to find the meaning from the website. In Chapter 14, you mention "The Last Chance Saloon" and "Joe Chug-It" (p. 138). Could you explain a little bit about these two? Is it a character in a story in the States, or in a TV/movie program?
The line in question is from my advising Christian readers to seek a church young-adult group whose events center on faith and fellowship rather than drinking in bars: ""That's where you'll meet men of stronger moral fiber than Joe Chug-It at the Last Chance Saloon."

I replied in part:
I really appreciate your writing to me with questions regarding the translation. Both "The Last Chance Saloon" and "Joe Chug-It" are my own inventions, meant to be descriptive of a certain kind of bar and a certain kind of person. You could replace them with similarly descriptive words. My intention was to add some humor to my point. If I were stating it another way, I would say, "That's where you'll meet men of stronger moral fiber than those who would would rather read beer ads than the Bible."
Did I mention that I am utterly thrilled about my book's coming out in Chinese? And being marketed in Hong Kong? As they say in Chinese, Hallelujah!