Jokha Alharthi, the first ever Omani female novelist to be translated to English, has won the Man Booker International Prize for her novel “Celestial Bodies” and, we couldn’t be happier for her!
The 41-year-old shared her impressive prize award, which amounts to over AED230,000, with her translator, American academic Marilyn Booth.
“I appreciate very much that this prize recognises not only the power of the work in the language in which it was imagined and written,” Booth said of the win.
She added: “I am also delighted that this brings Omani literature to the attention of a wider audience.”
“Celestial Bodies” was chosen from a selection of works, submitted by some of the world’s most talented female authors, which includes the likes of former winner Olga Tokarczuk and French author Annie Ernaux.
For those unaware of the novel, here’s a quick synopsis of the book:
“Celestial Bodies” focuses on three sisters that live in the village of Al-Awafi. The mission of Alharthi’s novel was to create a piece of literature that would resonate with the youth of Oman, as well as capture the attention of those unfamiliar with the Middle East. And, we think it’s fairly safe to say that she has!
We are so excited to read what Alharthi writes next. If you haven’t read “Celestial Bodies” yet, you can purchase it here.