Celestial Bodies

Author(s): Jokha Alharthi

Novel | 2019 Man Booker International Prize long list | 2019 Man Booker International Prize short list

Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter 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, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman's coming-of-age through the prism of one family's losses and loves.

Description: Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter 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, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman's coming-of-age through the prism of one family's losses and loves.


Review: `Compelling...'-Women In Translation; `Blends the rhythms of daily life with magic and legend.'-Muhammad Barrada; `Delivers the reader immediately into the world of the marginal, forgotten, most subaltern sectors of society.'-Ibrahim al-Hajari; `This novel is interesting as a lens through which to view an important time in the transition of Omani society'-The Wee Review


 


 


Author Biography: Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children's book, and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in Edinburgh, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She has been shortlisted for the Sahikh Zayed Award for Young Writers and her short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean, and Serbian.


Promotional Information: Full UK marketing campaign by the Sandstone Press in-house team. LONGLISTED: 2019 Man Booker International prize.

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WINNER of the 2019 International Booker Prize

It is very easy to fall in love with the colourful cast of character’s Jokha Alharthi has created in this multi generational tale. At the centre of everything there are three sisters. Inscrutable Mayya, bookish yet spirited Asma and Khawla, the beauty of the family who’s foolishness and romanticism will exacerbate the reader even as they are desperately willing everything to work out for her. Celestial Bodies is an engrossing family saga and a fascinating glimpse into upper class Omani society on the cusp between tradition and modernity. Emilie

General Fields

  • : 9781912240166
  • : Sandstone Press Limited
  • : Sandstone Press Limited
  • : April 2017
  • : 2.54 Centimeters X 13.34 Centimeters X 19.68 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : English
  • : 823.92
  • : 320
  • : Jokha Alharthi
  • : Paperback