Frankly puzzling

July 14, 1995

A check to the apparently inexorable progress to fame and fortune of Jim Hawes, the Swansea German lecturer whose first novel A White Merc with Fins has attracted bidding wars and sums of money more normally associated with the share options of privatised utility directors.

German and Italian rights have been sold for gratifyingly large quantities of DM and lira, but no luck so far with France.

Dr Hawes suspects it may have something to do with a mistranslation in Le Monde which called the book Un Blanc mercenaire avec des palmes. If you were a French publisher would you go for a novel apparently called A White Mercenary with Medals?

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