Local author and physician, Dr. Graham Elder published his first novella, A COVID Odyssey in late 2020 as the pandemic was still picking up steam.
By spring of 2021, Elder published the sequel, A COVID Odyssey – Second Wave.
By Fall 2021, both novellas were selected to be added to a pandemic collection at the Museum of Health Care in Kingston, Ontario.
More recently, Elder’s first book, A COVID Odyssey, was chosen to be included in the curriculum for Tanta University’s Introduction to English Literature course in Egypt.
“It’s an alternative read to John Steinbeck’s novella, The Pearl,” says Elder, expressing shock that his work is being used in the course alongside one of the American author’s most popular books, a staple of literature studies for decades.
“This was hard for me to believe but apparently it is so.”
In addition to the news that his book is now part of the Egyptian university’s curriculum, Elder also found out that Mahmoud Ibrahim Radwin, professor at Tanta University, published a 37-page analysis of the novella entitled, Narrating Catastrophic ‘Cosmology Episodes’: An Analytical Reading of Graham Elder’s A COVID Odyssey: A Fictional COVID-19 Pandemic Story in a literary journal.
“It was this strange turn of events that has now led to my first novel being translated into Arabic,” says Elder.
“The book was translated by two professors, one based in Arizona and the other in Egypt. Both are very much involved in teaching languages, in particular Arabic to English.”
Elder notes that one of the best means of teaching languages is through the use of translated fictional stories, of which there are very few converted from English to Arabic.
The author sees another local benefit to having his novella translated into Arabic.
“It would be interesting for our local Syrian community having something to read in their own language that features their newly adopted home,” he says.
“I’m not quite sure how this will play out. Perhaps the book can be part of a welcome package from the city.”
Elder notes that he is currently working with his friend and local lawyer Jeff Broadbent on possible options.
“Jeff has been very involved in helping the Syrian community settle in the Sault," he says.
“Now, I am just waiting on a publisher in the Middle East to finalize the Arabic version of the book.”
Elder hopes the translated version will be published later this year. His second book is presently in the process of being translated as well.
“The world is truly a weirdly connected place.”
As far as what is next for Elder, the third instalment in the series was released on July 26 and is called A COVID Odyssey – Variant Reset.
A COVID Odyssey and A COVID Odyssey – Second Wave are currently available in paperback on Amazon as well as in EPUB format everywhere EPUP books are sold (Amazon, Kobo, Apple books, Barnes and Noble).
To read more about Dr. Graham Elder’s writing, visit his website.