Sunday, January 13, 2008

In bocca al lupo, times thirteen!

The Italian translation of "good luck" is buona fortuna, but that's not what most Italians say. If I wanted to wish you luck here in Italy, I'd say: In bocca al lupo, which literally means "in the mouth of the wolf." Then you would say: "Crepi!" which means "Die!"

I's a rather strange comeback considering I'm wishing you luck, isn't it? But what we're really saying is this:

Me: You don't really need luck, because you're the kind of person who would come out on top, even if you were to find your head in the jaws of a slobbering, extra mean wolf with bad breath (okay, so I embellished that last part a bit). But just in case, good luck, anyway.

You: If I ever find myself with my head in the mouth of a wolf, may the wolf die instead of me!

It's a bit gothic as far as sentiments go.

But, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Jay Asher good luck tomorrow! Jay wrote a fantastic book for teens called Thirteen Reasons Why, and tomorrow the the American Library Association will announce the winner and runners-up for the Michael L. Printz award for excellence in Young Adult Literature.

No matter the outcome tomorrow, kudos go to Jay's book for opening up dialogues in schools across the country about teen suicide prevention (check out this latest post on the blog he writes with two other children's authors, Robin Mellom and Eve Porinchak, called the The Disco Mermaids here).

So here's to you, Jay: IN BOCCA AL LUPO! :-)

UPDATE: Thirteen Reasons Why was chosen for three incredible lists by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA):

* Best Books for Young Adults
* Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
* Selected Audiobooks for Young Adults

Congratulazioni, Jay! If you were here, Italian social norms would require that you take everyone out for a celebratory drink, so be glad you're in the U.S.!

(See how effortlessly I weave in children's literature with lessons on life in Italy?? Very smooth.)


Disco Mermaids said...

Thank you, Natalie.

You've been a champion of this book since way before its public release...which means a lot to me.

How do you say You rock! in Italian?

- Jay

Julie_c said...

I...I just don't even know how to comment on this post. I don't know Jay - but good luck to you, sir!

Natalie said...

Aw, shucks. I don't think there's any direct translation of "You rock!" in Italian, or "No, it's your book that rocks," but I'll let you know if I hear of one. :-)

Hey Julie! You? At a loss for words? ??? ;-)