Marilla Before Anne by Louise Michalos

Anne fans

Two new books for enthusiasts of the LM Montgomery classic

Save Article Share Tweet

Anne’s Cradle: The Life and Works of Hanako Muraoka, Japanese Translator of Anne of Green Gables

Eri Muraoka

Translated by Cathy Hirano

The name Hanako Muraoka is revered in Japan. Her Japanese translation of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Akage no An (Redhaired Anne), was the catalyst for the book’s massive and enduring popularity in Japan. Now, the bestselling biography of Hanako Muraoka written by her granddaughter, Eri Muraoka, and translated by Cathy Hirano, is available in English.

Born into an impoverished family of tea merchants in rural Japan, Muraoka’s fortunes change dramatically when she is offered a place at a girls’ school in Tokyo founded by the Methodist Church of Canada. Nurtured by the Canadian missionaries who teach her, she falls in love with English poetry and literature.

In 1941, after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the peace-loving missionaries who nurtured Hanako are forced to leave the country. Hanako finds solace in a gift received from a Canadian friend: a copy of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. The story of Anne Shirley gives Hanako courage and hope. Amidst the wail of air-raid sirens, she translates her copy into Japanese in 1943, fully aware that she risks imprisonment or death if caught.

It is only much later that a publisher decides to take a chance on a Canadian author previously unknown in Japan, unwittingly launching a cross-cultural literary legacy.

Anne’s Cradle is available at booksellers everywhere.

Marilla Before Anne

Louise Michalos

Marilla Cuthbert was fifty-two years old when the plucky red-headed Anne Shirley came to live with her and her brother Matthew at Green Gables farm on PEI. A seemingly cold and dour spinster, her heart eventually softens to the loveable orphan girl. But for over a century readers have wondered, who was Marilla before Anne?

In Louise Michalos’s debut novel Marilla Before Anne, readers are introduced to a spirited 18 year old Marilla—a girl not unlike Anne herself—who is desperately in love, and whose whole life is spread before her. But when a moment of defiance brings life-changing consequences, a new Marilla begins to take shape, one who would learn to bear tragedy like a birthright, and loss as an inevitability, and who would hold steadfast to the secrets that could shatter the lives of everyone around her.

Weaving its way from Marilla’s early life in Avonlea to her coming-of-age in Halifax and back, Marilla Before Anne takes readers on a journey back in time.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Michalos brings an authentic voice to Marilla Cuthbert’s story.

Marilla Before Anne is available at booksellers everywhere.

anne of green gables