Omani Novelist Wins Man Booker Award 2019

London, The Omani novelist Jokha al-Harthiya

won the Man Booker International Award for best translated English

work for her novel “”Celestial Bodies”, translated into English by

Marilyn Booth.

This achievement is the first of its kind for an Arab writer since the

award was established in 2005.

Jokha al-Harthiya, 40, is also the first Omani novelist her work to be

translated into English. It is also the first time that a novelist from the

Gulf region has won this prestigious award.

“Moon Ladies” tells the family life of three sisters who attest to the

slow development of Omani society.

Jokha al Harthiya, the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize,

will split the 50,000 pound (USD64, 000) purse with her UK-based

translator, Marilyn Booth.

Historian Bettany Hughes, who led the judging panel, said Tuesday

that the winning novel was “a book to win over the head and the heart

in equal measure.”

“Celestial Bodies” beat five other finalists from Europe and South

America, including last year’s winner, Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk,

acclaimed French author Annie Ernaux and Colombia’s Juan Gabriel


Celestial Bodies was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by

Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, and

made up of writer, translator and chair of English PEN Maureen Freely;

philosopher Professor Angie Hobbs; novelist and satirist Elnathan John

and essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra.

Source: Oman News Agency

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