Saturday, May 21, 2016

NEW EDITION | The Borrowed House

Coming soon: A new edition of The 
Borrowed House by the Purple House
Press, using the original HvS cover
art, © by the HvS Estate.  
The Estate of Hilda van Stockum has just signed a contract with Purple House Press of Cynthiana, Ky. to publish a new edition of The Borrowed House.

Third Publisher in English

Purple House Press will be the third publisher of the book, in addition to the Dutch translation, under the title Het Gestolen Huis ("The Stolen House"). The first two publishers were:
Farrar Straus (1975), which kept the book in print until the 1990s. Publication rights then reverted to the author.  
Bethlehem Books (2000), which reprinted the book with a new cover. In 2006 the author died and all publication rights passed to the author's estate. In 2016 the English-language rights reverted to the Estate.
The Borrowed House is an urban equivalent, based in Amsterdam, to The Winged Watchman (Farrar, 1962) which is based in a rural Dutch community and is kept in print by Bethlehem Books. The reprint edition published by Bethlehem Books has sold more than 50,000 copies and has been optioned for television rights.

Purple House Press was founded by Jill Morgan. The publisher focuses on classic books and has produced hundreds of titles over several years.

The Press has scanned the original painting by the author of the book, Hilda van Stockum (my late mother), and plans to use it for the cover of their edition of The Borrowed House.

Where in Amsterdam Does the Cover Show?

The original HvS cover art shows an Amsterdam scene with German Army (Wehrmacht) soldiers marching along a canal.

I am trying to find out what canal houses are shown. Is it the Herengracht or Keizersgracht, or the Prinsengracht?
Painting of canal houses by Hilda van Stockum. Which canal is it on? Herengracht? Keizersgracht?
The steeple looks like that of the Oude Kerk, but that is distant from the canals. Painting © by the
Estate of Hilda van Stockum, reproduced here by permission of the Estate.

One clue is that the scene is located near a cross-canal point, as indicated by the back cover. The double-width building at the end is also a good clue because it appears to be a bank. It has a star at the top.

In the background is a grey church steeple, rising above the red-brick buildings that hide the main part of the church.

The steeple looks like that of the Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam, but that is quite a way from the canal houses... Still puzzling.

Other Boissevain Books News:
Boissevain Books represented at book fair in East Hampton, N.Y.

BOOK FAIR | Selling Books, East Hampton, N.Y.

John Tepper Marlin (seated, L) of Boissevain Books tells the premise
of Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon, its first new 2016
 book. Bill Henderson (seated, R) of Pushcart Press readies his pitch.
May 21, 2016–Boissevain Books partnered with Pushcart Press to staff a table at a Springs Community Presbyterian Church fair.

The books were arrayed based on the age groups to which they are targeted, from youngest to oldest:
  • At far left, books for youngest children (e.g., Pamela Walks the Dog, Little Old Bear, Patsy and the Pup).
  • Next, books for somewhat older children (Princess Josephine and the Rainbow Dragon, Andries, King Oberon's Forest).
  • Then young adult books  (e.g., Penengro, The Borrowed House).
  • Finally, books for adults (e.g., Time Bomber, The Box House, A Meaning for Danny).
The books-for-sale table was the only one at the fair, which was primarily made up of sellers of second-hand items.

The advantage of being a unique part of such a fair is that there was no other competition from book sellers. The disadvantage is that buyers were self-selected to be looking for second-hand items, and were not always in the frame of mind to buy a book.

It was a useful experiment. Both of us sold a decent number of books, but I think Bill and I are disposed to looking next time to join a fair that is explicitly identified as a book fair.

Other Boissevain Books news:
The Borrowed House will be coming out soon in a new edition.