UC Berkeley News


Green Wheat: A Novella by Colette
Translated by Zack Rogow

18 August 2004


Among the early works of the French writer Colette was Le Blé en Herbe, her controversial 1923 novella about adolescent sexuality. Those in the English-speaking world know the work as The Ripening Seed, last translated in the ’50s by Roger Senhouse. Zack Rogow, a senior editor in the College of Education and a coordinator of the campus’s popular Lunch Poems series, has retranslated the book’s dialogue to better convey the rhythms of modern teenage language — and given it a new title as well.

Rogow considers Green Wheat the “most polished, most perfect” of Colette’s more than 20 novels — “an exquisite blend of two of [Colette’s] greatest gifts as a fiction writer, her uncanny ability to fathom the hearts of adolescents, and her skill at describing nature with the phrasing of a poet and the colors and light of a great landscape painter.”

Sarabande Books, 2004; 168 pages www.sarabandebooks.org