Omani in race for Man Booker

Muscat, March 13 – The English translation of Arabic-language novel Celestial Bodies by Omani writer and academic Jokha al Harthi (Pictured) has been included in long list of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. The Man Booker International Prize has on Wednesday revealed the 13 novels in contention for the 2019 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world. These 13 books have been translated from nine different languages, and hail from 12 different countries across three continents.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on April 9, while the winner of the 2019 prize will be revealed at a dinner in London on May 21.
The prize is awarded every year for the book, which is translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. The £50,000 prize will be shared by the authors and translator.
Shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000 each. The judges considered 108 books for the long list
Translated by Marilyn Booth from Arabic, Celestial Bodies set in the village of Al Awafi in Oman tells the story of three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional society to its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, it tells of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family.
Al Harthi, born in 1978, teaches Arabic Literature in Sultan Qaboos University. She has a doctorate in Literature from Edinburgh University, Scotland and has published three novels, two collections of short stories, a volume of prose and poetry and two children’s stories, as well as academic books and articles. Her work has been published in translation, in English for Banipal Magazine and in Germany’s Lisan Magazine, and in Korean, Serbian and Italian magazines.
Her novel Celestial Bodies will soon be launched in English and Scotland. Jokha’s novel Naranja (2016) had won the 2016 Sultan Qaboos Award for Culture, Art and Literature.