And so I was extremely pleased to learn that it will be published in the US next year. Jude Morgan is a novelist who, I feel, has never received the wide acclaim he justly deserves, although this will be far from his first book to be published stateside. If I'm to believe Amazon as well as Baker & Taylor, it will be released as a trade paperback on April 27, 2010.
However, there'll be a change of title. Instead of the poetic and thematically appropriate The Taste of Sorrow, the US release is currently going by Charlotte and Emily. No cover art available so far.
This puts two of the main characters' names up front. Famous names sell books, and readers can easily guess who they are. Maybe the original title was too vague? Too much of a downer? (Does anyone expect a novel about the Brontës to be a pleasant walk in the park?) I'm all for increasing the potential sales of a novel of this caliber, but the new title is bland, it's overly generic, and it misrepresents the content to some degree. There are three viewpoint characters in the novel, and the revised title omits one of them.
At the All About Romance blog in June, Lynn Spencer talked about this phenomenon in the context of romance novels -- how imaginative titles are being tossed out in favor of generic ones when the books are reprinted. Her post, along with the comment trail that followed, is worth reading. Another example: Susan Wiggs's historical romance Vows Made in Wine has been re-released as The Maiden's Hand. One reader made a comment that stuck with me: "I think that they’re really sucking the poetry out of book titling with this generic, keyword-driven approach."
This may very well be a smart marketing tactic, but I can't help feeling a little sorrow for the poetry lost... as well as for poor neglected Anne.