Interview with Natalie & Greg Solomon, Authors of The Prophet
01 Feb 2024
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Prophet?
“The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran – originally published 100 years ago! – is one of the best-selling books of all time, filled with wisdom and beauty. Greg would often quote lines to Natalie, to teach and to inspire her.
But after a while, Natalie insisted that when Dad was talking about The Prophet, he should make sure the prophet is a woman.
After a while, we both realized that the book could be totally reimagined, formalizing the woman’s voice, and then making it available globally as a book.
Natalie wants girls and women to be able to read books with strong and wise female leads, and was excited to be part of this diversity, equitability, and inclusivity effort.
And so we spent roughly a year, discussing the book, the role of genders, the male default; and making edits along the way to reimagine this as a true woman’s voice version.
So it’s just turning a male prophet into a female? Or it’s more than that?
It’s much more than just ‘he’ becoming ‘she’!
From a “brain” point of view, yes – some of the edits were to create a female prophet, and to remove all the male defaults (for example, words like “mankind”, “master”, and where ‘Love’ was called ‘him’ not ‘it’).
But from a “heart” point of view, we created a reimagined version that would inspire even more people. Some entire sections were deleted because they just didn’t align with how a female prophet, rather than a male, would teach.
Our readers have loved “feeling” the advice of The Prophet coming from a woman’s voice. Women have felt themselves more part of the book than when they read the original version, and men have found a deep maternal familiarity in taking the wisdom and guidance from a woman.
And we’ve also made untold edits to the wording, to modernize the text, replace old words that aren’t in use anymore, and clarify the intent of the original text. As a result, the feedback we’re receiving is that people find our version a much easier read – one which leaves them in flow, taking less effort to follow and appreciate.
The book was published by Yinscribed Books – but there’s a story there too?
Correct! We wrote together, we designed the cover image together, and we decided to make this a complete experience by creating our own publishing company at the same time.
“Yin” is the feminine energy from yin-yang, hence the name “Yinscribed Books”.
Both father and daughter have many more books in us, and our Yinscribed Books will be the platform we’ll use, including other authors who want to write about themes of women empowerment, equitability, inspiration, and the rising of the underdog – both fiction and non-fiction.
You’re a rather unique author pair, please tell us more about yourselves.
Natalie is 7 years old, and loves reading and writing. She’s passionate about living in a world where girls and women are strong, respected, and influential.
Greg, her father, is an actuary, business advisor, and creator of the #HashtagYourLife system.
We are both passionate readers, often discussing and sometimes swapping books. (For example, Natalie is currently reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” on her dad’s recommendation, and Greg is reading “Bad Dad” by David Walliams on his daughter’s insistence.)
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
Both father and daughter read widely. This includes fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. And we’re both happy to sit on the sofa for half an hour, browsing through a random volume of the World Book Encyclopaedia.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
Natalie has recently bought “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, a 5-book sci-fi series for children.
Greg has fallen in love with the writing of Haruki Murakami, and has lined up a number of his books for this year.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
We loved getting into the right mood during our writing sessions. So we had a picture of our self-created female Prophet on the screen next to us to remind us who was “talking”, and we’d play suitable Middle Eastern or inspirational music in the background, to keep our hearts and brains connected during the process.
Do you have a favorite quote from the book?
Natalie, from the chapter about Children, loves the line “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.”
Greg is inspired by “Work is love made visible,” from the chapter about Work.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
Empowering women, and inspiring men with a woman’s voice, is something that anyone can do.
We are hoping to contribute to the world through this book. But we want our readers to remember that they can be part of this too, even in the smallest of ways – reading books by women, quoting women, listening to women, and sharing suitable women-empowered books.
“To measure you by your smallest deed only is to judge the power of the ocean by the weakness of its foam.” – from The Prophet – reimagined through a woman’s voice
Natalie & Greg Solomon is the author of the new book The Prophet: (Kahlil Gibran) Reimagined Through a Woman’s Voice
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