Hello Twitterers: There were a lot of entries, with much variety. Hard to choose! Therefore, instead of picking just five winners I have picked the ones I thought were the most telling in three different categories, for a total of eleven. I have also added an Honourable Mention, and a longer analysis by Lidwien Biekmann, the Dutch translator of The Year of the Flood. Thank you all for entering.
How to collect your prize: Post a Comment to this Blog with your address on it. Only I will be able to read it. We can then send your prize!
Category 1: Succinct/poetic
lmpeet Crying is never beneath me
karennewton The leek shall inherit the earth.
gmlamb Rising through tears
Category 2: Literary/Related to the YOTF Novel
quolivere: The FO is the Earth, with all of its layers…or the onion represents the best way to mask the taste of a SecretBurger!
Skyemac8: Also, the onion is “God’s apple”and would be an important symbol for the “gardeners” : to carry their hope for survival.
ashleightimmins It’s surely a Gardener-approved splice to avoid the necessary cruelty of relocating snails
CharlineCP All you see is not necessarily all that there is to the story/character; layers must be peeled away before revealing its core.
Category 3: Philosphical
Offsetters Uprooted. Absurd. Containing hidden kernal of new growth, the floating onion is us. When will we find our true soil again?
rtwnt You have to endure the pain/tears to reach a point to savor the flavor of the unexpected.
amanda_kirsten It’s a sign of the earth’s ability at rebirth. From the destruction, there is still vegetation, still life, a second chance.
rasplemjelly The onion symbolizes sadness from all the layers of history where we make the same mistakes, and hope as it has lifted free
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Sermon on the Onion
From Lidwien Biekmann, the Dutch translator of The Year of the Flood
My dear Fellow Creatures and Fellow Twitterers, today we meditate upon the Symbolism of the Dutch and German Bookcover, and we ask ourselves why the Publisher has chosen a yellow floating Onion, why this Onion is floating, or whether it could perchance be falling. And if so, where is it falling from and, more important: where will it land? Is this the Wild Onion Saint Euell sang the virtues of, the Onion that toils not, neither does it spin, nor has it pesticides sprayed upon it (if it happily grew far enough away from agribusiness crops)? Or is it the Onion that Toby salvaged from the ruined garden, together with two radishes (not shown on the cover)? Or, my dear Friends, is this the Onion that symbolizes the Great Transformation of Life, the Onion that lies Fallow but shines with Life, the Onion with God dwelling in the midst of it? For is it not true that the Onion has entered the state sometimes called Death, but more rightly known as Renewed Life? What is our Onion but a snowflake? What is it but a piece of paper?
My dear Friends and Fellow Twitterers, as our dear Saint Julian has so beautifully said: In the eye of God not a single Onion that has ever existed is truly lost. We ask ourselves what this may be, and are answered generally thus: the ways of the Publisher are unfathomable…