The Guardian reported yesterday that “Banned books return to shelves in Egypt and Tunisia,” and, for at least a few books, this seems to be the case.
Although texts from overseas still seem to be held up in the bowels of the censors’ office, others—such as A Red Card for the President by Abdul Halim Kandeel—are reportedly back on store shelves. And, further on the good-news front, Magdy al-Shafee’s Metro, which was yanked from stores in April 2008, will receive a new edition. According to al-Shafee, Metro will be republished by Dar Merit (in Arabic) in conjunction with a Lebanese publishing house.
Metro also will also soon have an English version. The graphic novel—the first Egyptian graphic novel for adults—has been translated in full by Humphrey Davies, who earlier translated an excerpt for Words Without Borders. It will be published in early 2012 by Metropolitan Books, which also publishes Joe Sacco.
And in Re-translation:
The first translation was published by Banipal Books in 2005, and it was worked on by a whole raft of scholars and translators: Samira Kawar, Paul Starkey, Issa J Boullata, Christina Phillips, Shakir Mustafa, and Fiona Collins.
The new version, translated by Piers Amodia and Christina Phillips, has a much more appealing cover, and, insha’allah, much more fluid and consistently paced prose.