When my book was first released in 1995, email was barely a blip on the horizon, so the only feedback I initially got came in the form of handwritten letters overflowing my stuffed PO Box at the local post office.
One of the letters I received had a Russian return address. It was from one of my readers who basically just wanted to thank me for writing Taking Charge, since she said she was now happily practicing FAM. I was pretty impressed that someone whose first language wasn’t English could understand all of the complexities of the medical terminology. So I wrote her back, complementing her on her incredible English, and asked her out of curiosity if she had maybe lived in the UK or the States at some point.
Weeks later, I recognized the same Russian return address in my PO Box, and anxiously tore it open to learn about her background. Imagine my surprise when I read “What do you mean asking about my English? The book is written in Russian!”
Um . . . come again?
So I wrote her back, ever-so- delicately asking her whether she would mind sending me a copy of the book, for which I would happily reimburse her . Now remember, all of this was through snail-mail, so it was a rather clunky way to communicate with my new ‘friend.’ Weeks later, I got a reply from her in which she very apologetically explained to me that she is so sorry but she can’t possibly send me a copy since all the women she knows who own it love it and are not willing to give it up because there aren’t any more copies available to buy!
To this day, I never did see the Russian edition of the book, never was paid a penny for any of the copies sold, and have no idea whether the content was even accurate. But what I do know is that several years later, when it occurred to me to check if the Russian version of the book was now available on the web, the only thing I could find was an image of a semi-nude gorgeous woman with the title Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler in Russian. Hmmm . . . so apparently, not only was my book hijacked, but an image was attached to it of a beautiful woman with reddish flowing locks, replacing my freckles and dark brown curls.