This post is also available in: العربية

Cairo-based publishing house Dar al-Tanweer, which also has offices in Tunis and Beirut, is to become the first official Arab language publisher of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

The celebrated author has been widely published in Arabic before, but only in pirated editions. Now, Sherif-Joseph Rizk, Dar al-Tanweer’s director has signed a five-figure, six-year deal for world Arabic rights with Teresa Pinto of the Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells in Barcelona where the Colombian author lived for some years.

Rizk commented: “The deal is significant on many levels. It illustrates a maturation in the Arab publishing industry – this is by far the largest foreign rights deal in the history of Arabic publishing. Also, it shows further commitment by publishers towards implementing intellectual property rights and fighting piracy.”

The four books Dar al-Tanweer has bought are One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, Autumn of the Patriarch and The General in his Labyrinth.

Marquez, who is famed for the style of writing known as magical realism, died in 2014 at the age of 87. Juan Manuel Santos, the president of Colombia, described him as “the greatest Colombian who ever lived”.