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Jokha Alharthi

The International Booker Winner: Celestial Bodies

Abu Dhabi 2020, 

In Celestial Bodies, the 2019 International Man Booker Prize winner, Jokha Alharthi brings to life the intertwined tales of three sisters and the secrets and conflicts – both internal and external – of their small Omani society. Alharthi weaves past and present into a narrative that reveals broad strokes of history alongside the personal interplay of characters striving to tell their own stories.

Bettany Hughes, Chair of the International Booker jury, describes it as: “A book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure, worth lingering over. Interweaving voices and timelines are beautifully served by the pacing of the novel. Its delicate artistry draws us into a richly imagined community – opening out to tackle profound questions of time and mortality and disturbing aspects of our shared history. The style is a metaphor for the subject, subtly resisting clichés of race, slavery and gender.”

Chaired by Parween Habib. 

Jokha Alharthi