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Event in the Library

Dr. Sally Gomaa
Translation as Interpretation: One Novel's Journey from Arabic to English

Mon. Sept. 26, 2011
4:00-5:00 p.m.
McKillop Library

Sally Gomaa, Ph.D. Dr. Sally Gomaa, Associate Professor in Salve Regina's Department of English, will speak about her recent translation of the award-winning novel Red Wine by Egyptian writer Amina Zaydan Gomaa will discuss the creative, critical, and cultural issues that make translation a complete reconstruction of the original text in the new language. In fact, when meeting with the author in Cairo, Zaydan invited Gomaa to approach the novel as if it were her own.

In 2007 Amina Zaydan won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her second novel, Nabidh ahmar, translated as Red Wine. The prize, established in honor of the Nobel Prize winner of that name, is awarded annually to the best contemporary novel in Arabic published that year. Red Wine is the story of a young Egyptian woman struggling through love and loss during the 1960s War of Attrition. It has been described as "both timely in its attention to state brutality, religious extremism, and gender, and timeless in the way it deals the themes of coming of age, guilt, and sadness." Gomaa says that "it was a tough novel to translate," partly because of its stream of consciousness style. But she adds that she enjoyed the project tremendously because of the novel's "sophisticated layering of events and metaphors." By translating Red Wine, Gomaa hopes to expose readers to non-Western perspectives and dispel the myths that many Westerners maintain about Egyptian culture.

Gomaa, a native speaker of Arabic, was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, where she received her B.A. in English. She received a Fulbright Scholarship in 1994 and consequently moved to the United States to receive her M.A. in writing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and her Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island. Dr. Sally Gomaa teaches literature at Salve Regina University where she promotes intercultural awareness in her courses.

A reception and book signing will follow the presentation.

Sally Gomma displaySally Gomma display