Angolan novelist João Melo was at the Tunis International Book Fair held in April, where he presented the Arabic translation of his 1999 short story collection Imitação de Sartre e Simone de Beauvoir.

Born in Luanda, João Melo is an author, journalist, and professor. He studied in Coimbra, Luanda, and Rio de Janeiro. He is a founder of the Angolan Writer’s Association. He was a member of the parliament (1992-2017) and a minister of Angola (2017-2019). Many of his writings have been translated into English, French, German, Arabic, and Chinese. He was awarded the 2009 Angola Arts and Culture National Prize in literature.

On April 26, Melo got the opportunity to present his first book translated into Arabic, whose title in Portuguese is “Imitação de Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir” (English: Imitation of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir). At the Tunis International Book Fair, Melo also signed copies of the Arabic translation and had a conversation with the translator Abdeljelil Larbi about the book.

Imitation of Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir brings together 10 stories of ordinary people, stories of people who meet and, above all, find themselves at odds, most of the time in confrontation with the reality that suddenly stops making sense for them. Melo uses irony to attack social behavior such as the machismo of the Angolan man.

The Arabic translation of his book was published in Tunisia by Maison Du Livre and was released in important local bookstores, including Al Kitab which is considered the biggest bookstore of Tunis.

See photos from Melo’s visit to Tunis below.