Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is available in Arabic – for the first time ever.
The internationalisation of the Arab book markets continues apace, and is epitomised by the release of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in Arabic at the Sharjah International Book Fair.
Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel, set in a near-future dystopian USA, been translated by the Saudi Arabian writer Ahmed Al Ali, and is one of 11 new translations released by Rewayat (twitter – @RewayatReads), an imprint of UAE-based publisher Kalimat Group (twitter – @KalimatGrp).
In its first three days the Sharjah fair attracted over 400,00 visitors. Follow the event on twitter – #SIBF18.
If we’re not looking seriously at the Arab book market opportunity then we are going to miss out big time in the coming years.
But remember too this is a gateway process. Just as more and more western books are finding readers in the Arab markets, so more and more Arab works will be heading into our domestic markets, competing directly with our own titles.
As the Global New Renaissance steps up a gear we should be on the look out for new opportunities while also keeping an eye on the challenges ahead at home.
Put simply, while it’s still far from easy for an American / British / Canadian / Australian / New Zealand author to sell our books in Latin America, east Europe, Africa, the Middle East and most of Asia, it’s increasingly easy for authors in those lands to send their books to the Anglophone markets.
Expect serious headwinds as authors and publishers in the next decade as the international market gateway expands and our books are up against books from across the globe.
But for readers, this is beyond exciting. We are fast approaching a truly global book market where content from anywhere on the world can be read by anywhere in the world.