The Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA) yesterday published an interview with Brazilian publisher Laura di Pietro, whose new venture, Editora Tabla, is set to release two Arabic books in Brazilian-Portuguese translation this month:
According to ANBA, editorial director Laura di Pietro and art director Ana Cartaxo began working on the project back in 2016. With help from Arabic-Portuguese translators Michel Sleiman and Safa Jubran, and Lebanese-Brazilian writer Milton Hatoum, they are set to release their first two titles translated from Arabic: Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence, translated by Marco Calil, and a collection of works by the pre-Islamic poet Shanfara, translated by Michel Sleiman.
Editora Tabla promises to feature “mostly Arab authors, but also Turkish and Iranian ones.” They are looking to bring out fiction, poetry, novels, and children’s books translated into Brazilian Portuguese.
“There were no publishers targeting that region alone,” di Pietro told ANBA, “so we thought it would be really cool if we could represent a culture that’s so important, including for the Portuguese language.”
Di Pietro told ANBA that the seed of the idea was planted at the 2011 Sharjah International Book Fair. She said that a catalog is now in place until 2024, although some releases have been pushed back until next year because of Covid-19-related delays.
Both the Shanfara and Darwish books are available for preorder from the Tabla website.
Ten titles are due out yet this year: three for children and seven for adult readers.
Authors listed on the site include Sonia Nimr, Hoda Barakat (Night Post, translated by Safa Jubran), Hanan al-Shaykh, and Rashid Daif (Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep? translated by Felipe Benjamin Francisco).
Also read Safa Jubran’s first post on the site’s blog: É bom ser infiel! É muito bom trair! (It’s good to be unfaithful! It’s very good to cheat!).