Blog / 2019 / Translated into Italian

October 30, 2019

There is a new translation of Crime Against Nature! And unlike the Chinese versions from 2013, the Italian one is available both as an e-book and as an IRL book. Thank you to Angelo Pallotta for doing the translation, but also for being patient with me as I worked on the layout and printing over the course of a year!

Crime Against Nature book in Italian
Crime Against Nature translated by Angelo Pallotta

The timing of this Italian edition actually has pretty poetry to it, since, in a way, the ABC book that I am currently creating began with the release of the original Crime Against Nature seven years ago.

It seems hard to believe today, but, back in 2012, though I had been an artist for nine years already, I’d never done a series that wasn’t portraits and I’d never made a book that wasn’t just a show catalog. Crime Against Nature was a huge shift in my oeuvre. It allowed people to see me in a different light, and that’s when they started asking me to make an animal alphabet book.

Long Beach Island artist Gwenn Seemel in her studio
photo by David

It pleases me to see these two projects coexisting: one starting a new life in Italian and the other at the beginning of its journey. Both are the results of an extraordinary chain of collaborations, all going back to one unexpected moment.

It was 2006 or 2007, and I was perusing the shelves at my local library. I was looking for books about gender to inform the creation of my series about what it means to be a woman. For no particular reason that I can recall, Evolution’s Rainbow by Joan Roughgarden leaped out at me. That book was the main inspiration for what would become Crime Against Nature five years later, and that project opened up my art, helped me heal, and eventually lead me to the alphabet book!

In the spirit of setting off more chains of collaborations and because it’s what I do when I share about the progress of my ABC project, here’s what I’ve read since I last posted about the alphabet book:

  • Shrill by Lindy West

    SO GOOD. The chapter about periods made me laugh out loud repeatedly, and I’m convinced it should be required reading for everyone—whether or not your body will ever menstruate. Also, West’s comprehensive explanation of responsibility in comedy is helping me to be a better artist and more thoughtful person.

  • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

    This YA novel is about a post-apocalyptic world in which the white population has lost the ability to dream. Indigenous people are forced to hide from white society for fear of being abducted and having their dreams harvested. It was unexpectedly on theme for the sort of reading I’ve been doing recently with The Library Book and The Lost Gutenberg, which I talked about at the end of the posts here and here. Like those works of nonfiction, The Marrow Thieves focuses on how we preserve culture and pass it along.

  • Severance by Ling Ma

    Again, this book ended up relating to my theme in surprising ways. Some of this might be what I call “project head,” that delicious creative state in which every bit of media you encounter and every conversation you have seems to circle back to what you are working on. But Severance is also about the way we stupefy ourselves with meaningless routine and a focus on the past. Seeing as it is science fiction of the pandemic variety, it isn’t exactly uplifting, but it is thought-provoking.

  • The Secret Life of Lobsters by Trevor Corson

    It’s a wonder that I managed to read as much of this book as I did considering I was rolling my eyes every other page. The author is one of those men who thinks that referring to women as “females” and “honey holes” is a laugh riot. I persevered only for the sake the lobster painting that will be a part of my ABC book. If you like the idea of learning about an animal from a journalist who blends scientific research with layperson experience and you aren’t interested in a particular species, please read Ben Goldfarb’s Eager instead. It’s about beavers, and it is both inspiring and informative.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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