Jokha Alharthi’s book Celestial Bodies, translated from the original Omani novel Sayyidat al-Qamar, is amongst the 13 books longlisted for the 2019 prize.
Jokha is the author of two prior collections of brief fiction, a children’s book, and 3 novels in Arabic and presently teaches at the Sultan Qaboos University.
Celestial Bodies is translated by Professor Marilyn Booth of the Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, Oxford University.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Celestial Bodies has been longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. It is a great honour and an opportunity for Omani literature to be read and appreciated by a wider audience,” stated Jokha.
Praising the book, the Man Booker International Prize judges stated, “A richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.”
According to the publisher Sandstone Press, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman’s coming-of-age via the prism of a single family’s losses and loves. Robert Davidson, managing director, Sandstone, stated, “We are delighted with this recognition of the work of Jokha Alharthi and her gifted and distinguished translator, Marilyn Booth. We are incredibly proud of our part in bringing this talented novelist to the attention of Europe and the world. This is a fine novel that makes real a history and a people and their possible futures.”
The novel explores the lives of 3 sisters as they witness Oman gradually redefining itself from a standard society to its complicated present state, exactly where social mores parley with aspiration, technologies, and oil funds.
Davidson stated, “Our translated novels, to the present time, are all from northern Europe. This new book, with its excellent translation by Marilyn Booth, takes us into Arabic territory, specifically Oman, for the first time. It is a high quality, literary page-turner.”
The Man Booker International Prize revealed the longlist of 13 novels in contention for the 2019 prize, which celebrates the finest operates of translated fiction from about the globe.
The prize is awarded each year for a single book, which is translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland.
The award is distinct from the Man Booker Prize, which is recognised as the major award for high quality literary fiction written in English.
For the international award, authors and translators are regarded as to be equally essential, with the £50,000 prize becoming split in between them. The judges regarded as 108 books for this year’s prize.
From 2016 the Man Booker International Prize has evolved and is awarded annually on the basis of a single book rather than the earlier practice exactly where the international prize highlighted a single writer’s general contribution to fiction on the globe stage.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on April 9 at an occasion at Somerset House in London, and the winner will be announced on May 21 at the Roundhouse in London.
Information Source: Muscat Daily