Sandstone Press

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi: Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize

Celestial Bodies, written by Jokha Alharthi and translated by Marilyn Booth, has been shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.

Celestial Bodies is the first novel by by an author from the Arabian Gulf to be shortlisted from the prize.

Sandstone’s Managing Director, Robert Davidson, says ‘We are delighted with this recognition of the work of Jokha Alharthi and her gifted and distinguished translator, Marilyn Booth. We are incredibly proud of our part in bringing this talented novelist to the attention of Europe and the world. This is a fine novel that makes real a history and a people and their possible futures.’

Alharthi is equally delighted with the news. ‘I am absolutely thrilled that Celestial Bodies has been shortlisted for the Man Booker international prize. It is a great honour and an opportunity for Omani literature to be read and appreciated by a wider audience.‘

About the book

Elegantly structured, Celestial Bodies is the story of the history and people of modern Oman told through one family’s losses and loves. It won The Best Omani Novel prize in 2010 when it was published in Arabic.

‘A richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.’

-The Man Booker International Prize judges

‘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

About the Author

Jokha Alharthi is the author of two collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD 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.

About the Translator

Translated by Professor Marilyn Booth of the Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, Oxford University, who received a translation grant from the