‘Celestial Bodies’ won Man Booker International Prize

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The Man Booker International Prize, an international literary award hosted in the United Kingdom, is a counterpart to the ‘Man Booker Prize’ that is awarded only for English-language novels.Oman author Jokha Alharthi won the prestigious ‘Man Booker International Prize 2019’ for her novel “Celestial Bodies”.

  • With this, Alharthi became the first Arabic-language writer to win the prize and the first female writer from Oman to have her work translated into English. 
  • Alharthi will split the prize money of 50,000 pound (USD 64,000) with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth.
  • Alharthi also won the ‘Best Omani Novel Award’ for Celestial Bodies in 2010. 
  • The “Celestial Bodies” novel is the story of three sisters Mayya, Asma, and Khawla. The novel, set in the Omani village of al-Awafi, confronts Oman’s history of slavery, which was abolished in the country only in 1970.
  • After suffering a heartbreak, Mayya marries into a rich family; Asma marries for duty; and Khawla is shown waiting for a man who has immigrated to Canada.
  • The novel was first published in 2010 as “Ladies of the Moon”.