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Not long after discovering book arts, I awoke from a dream (yes, true story) in which I had a daughter named “Fa’enwyl.” I knew the spelling of her name but not how it was pronounced, and had no idea what it meant or where it had come from. After fruitlessly searching dictionaries and encylopedias, I adopted the apparently imagined word as my bindery name,  dropping the apostrophe and using a ligature in a nod to the typographic roots of the printed book. I decided to pronounce it "FEN-will."


More than a decade passed. Then one night I reread a novel that had been one of my childhood favorites, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, by Madeleine L’Engle. It had been at least twenty years since I’d read it last. "Surprise" only begins to describe how I felt when I turned a page and found one character greeting another, “Croeso f'annwyl.” There was my word at last, spelled correctly, apostrophe and all. As it turned out, the Welsh word “f’annwyl” (pronounced "FAN-will") means “my dear,” and my own name, “cara,” in Italian means “dear.” I had named the bindery after myself.

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