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Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi: Sandstone Press signs winner of Best Omani Novel

Sandstone Press has signed an evocative literary Middle Eastern novel, translated from Arabic, after its great success in Oman. The publisher acquired English-language rights from the Wylie Agency.

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. The novel explores the lives of three sisters as they witness Oman slowly redefining itself from a traditional, slave-owning society, to its complex present state, where social mores parley with aspiration, technology, and oil money.

Robert Davidson, Managing Director at Sandstone Press, says ‘We are delighted to welcome Jokha Alharthi and Celestial Bodies to Sandstone Press. 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, and we look forward to putting it before its English language readership.’

Charles Buchan of the Wylie agency adds that ’It is a great pleasure to be working with Sandstone Press on introducing Jokha’s exquisite novel in English.'

Jokha Alharthi

Jokha Alharthi