Colazione al Cairo (Breakfast in Cairo). Mohamed Salmawy, Trans: Carmine Cartolano, Rome: Guniti, 2012.
An Italian translation of the Egyptian novel Agnehat Al-Farasha (Bufferfly Wings), by the Egyptian writer Mohamed Salmawy, is just released in Rome this week under a different title: Colazione al Cairo (Breakfast in Cairo).
The prestigious Italian newspaper La Repubblica, published a critique, calling it one of the most daring novels released in the Arab world in the past few years. An image of a large sector of the Egyptian society materialises; the novel becomes a witness to conflicts under the surface before the January 25 Revolution in 2011.
La Repubblica praised the novel's high literary language that merged politics with passion. The critique added that the novel, which was written during Mubarak's rule and published weeks before the revolution that ousted him, foresaw the upcoming revolution in Tahrir Square in its last words.
The president of the Writers' Union of Egypt and general secretary of the General Union of Arab Writers, Mohamed Salmawy at 67, was also the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram's French-language Hebdo newspaper.
Salmawy has many published works in Arabic and other languages. His Arabic works include the plays: I Shall Tell You All (1967), Come Back Tomorrow (1983), Salome (1986), Murderer at Large (1985), Next in Line (1983) and a book of short stories, The Man Who Regained His Memory (1983).
The Italian edition was translated by Carmine Cartolano, and was released from the Giunti publishing house.