BY SHARON SIBINDI
AWARD-WINNING Bulawayo-based writer Bryony Rheam will be the guest of honour at this year’s edition of the Cairo International Book Fair.
The Arabic translation of Rheam’s novel, This September Sun, was launched at the Egyptian book fete last year under the auspices of Egyptian publishers, Al Arabi.
The director of the local publisher of the book, amaBooks, Brian Jones told NewsDay Life & Style that since the launch the Egyptian publisher has described the book as having travelled the Arab world as far as Morocco and the Arabian Gulf.
“Its success has resulted in Bryony Rheam being invited as a guest of honour at this year’s Cairo International Book Fair. The book fair is the largest and oldest book fair in the Arab world, held every year since 1969. Last year, the fair attracted two-and-a-half million visitors. This year the fair runs from January 22 to February 4,” he said.
Jones said Rheam was ecstatic about the development and was looking forward to attending the fair.
“The author is very excited to be invited and looks forward to meeting readers of her work based in the Arab world,” he said.
“Previously she has appeared at a number of festivals, including the Intwasa Arts Festival, the Ake Arts and Book Festival in Nigeria and Africa Utopia in London.”
This September Sun was first published by amaBooks in Zimbabwe and was subsequently published in Kenya and the United Kingdom. The Arabic version was the first translation of the novel.
Jane Morris, the co-director at amaBooks, said: “We hope it will be the first of many translations. The novel “has legs” and continues to be popular and selling well. In the age of e-books, it is available throughout the world and has been particularly successful in this format, having topped the Amazon sales charts in the UK.”
Rheam’s skill as a writer has been recognised on many occasions and she was chosen as one of the five writers across Africa to be a Morland scholar, while This September Sun was selected as a set text for ‘A’ level Literature in English in Zimbabwe.
She has also published All Come to Dust and is currently working on The Dying of the Light.