By A Correspondent
New Delhi: Simon & Schuster India is delighted to announce that Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi has won the Man Booker International Prize 2019.
According to the The Man Booker International Prize judges on Celestial Bodies is ‘a richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.’
Editors at Simon & Schuster India told Arrackistan.com that “We are thrilled, honoured and proud to be publishing Celestial Bodies in the Indian subcontinent. From the moment this manuscript came to us, we knew there was something very special about this story of three women spanning generations which also masterfully tells the story of Oman. We thank the team at Sandstone Press which originally published the book in the UK, as well as our team at Simon and Schuster India for believing in it. The Man Booker International is the biggest prize in the world for translated fiction, and we as publishers are ecstatic to be associated with a book which has managed to win the coveted prize from a shortlist which included some extraordinary writing from around the world.”
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.
About the Author:
Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels. She completed a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in Edinburgh, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She has been shortlisted for the Shaikh Zayed Award for Young Writers and won the prize for best Omani novel for Celestial Bodies.
About the Translator:
Translated by Professor Marilyn Booth of the Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, Oxford University, who received a translation grant from the Anglo Omani Society. Translated from the original Omani novel Sayyidat al-Qamar
About Simon & Schuster India:
Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, USA and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at www.simonandschuster.co.in