I believe that it was in February 2020 that I found a tempting email in my inbox. A publisher based in the United Arab Emirates was interested in the publication of a collection of articles from The Art(s) of Slow Cinema in book form. The email arrived at a time I was close to finishing the first full draft of Human Condition(s). Perfect timing, I would have said, if it hadn’t been for the pandemic, which upset everything. From one day to the next, things became a lot more complicated. As half of the world went into lockdown, it was difficult for publishers to estimate the fallout. Publication dates were postponed, other projects were suspended completely. Human Condition(s) was, in a way, part of this collateral damage, which is why I decided to publish it myself.
Negotiations with the publisher from the UAE stalled, too, and I had expected that the project wouldn’t move forward. In a lucky change of course, though, the project was put back on track, and I’m delighted to reveal today a cooperation between The Art(s) of Slow Cinema and Rewayat Books, a part of Kalimat Group, based in Sharjah.
Rewayat focuses on Arabic translations of fiction and nonfiction books. So far, they published translations of books by Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Margaret Atwood. I’m seriously stunned that I will soon be part of this elect circle of authors!
The forthcoming book will be quite a large selection of articles taken from my blog. It’ll be a journey from the early research days up to today. Translated by Ameen Saleh, it’ll be the first time my work becomes accessible to Arab audiences. Saleh is a renowned poet, journalist and critic, and is a member of the Bahrain Cinema Club. Perhaps, I couldn’t imagine a better translator, given his involvement in the world of cinema.
I cannot give you a release date just yet, but it looks to be sometime towards 2023. It’s an incredibly exciting new project, and I’m eagerly awaiting the publication. My thanks go to Ameen Saleh for his interest in my work and to Ahmed Al Ali, managing editor at Rewayat!