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New Release: Plath's 'Bell Jar' first Arabic translation in 50 years

First published in 1963, Sylvia Plath's only novel is now finally available to Arabic readers thanks to Samah Jaafar and Mazin Mustafa

Ahram Online, Wednesday 18 Sep 2013
The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar Arabic edition's cover
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The first Arabic rendition of Sylvia Plath’s only novel The Bell Jar is finally available. The work of Cairo-based Sudanese translators Samah Jaafar and Mazin Mustafa, the novel was released by the General Egyptian Book Organisation.

Plath's The Bell Jar, considered a biography with altered character names, was first published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel narrates the tumultuous years of Plath’s life, during which she experienced a profound depression that eventually led to her suicide in February 1963, a month after the novel's publication.

Syliva Plath’s name was first printed on the novel in 1967, after which The Bell Jar was translated into numerous languages – excluding Arabic. 

Samah Jaafar, Sudanese writer and translator, published a number of literary translations and studies of Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin and Jalaluddin Rumi. 

Mazin Mustafa, 31, is the Sudanese author of two published novels: The Phoenix of Embellished Praise, released by Sharkiat Publishing House in Cairo, 2012, and Al-Fata min Rojas Mat Qabl Ann Ya'refany (The Boy From Rojas Died Before He Got To Know Me), a dialogue between the novelist and late renowned Argentinean writer Ernesto Sabato.
 

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