Mayya, Asma and Khawla; three sisters, each a villager of al-Awafi in Oman and each harbouring very different hopes and commitments. In a vivid tale of passion, conflict, love and loss, Jokha Alharthi takes us through three generations of Omani culture to describe a society experiencing extraordinary change. From 19th century slavery to its 20th century abolition and beyond, Celestial Bodies is an extraordinary cultural kaleidoscope, translated with great nuance by Marilyn Booth.
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2019
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.
Publisher: Sandstone Press Ltd
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 186 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 15 mm
'Compelling...' - Women In Translation
'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
'This novel is interesting as a lens through which to view an important time in the transition of Omani society' - The Wee Review
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“A novel of generational OMAN”
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Thank you to the publisher for this review copy.
When I saw it on the Man Booker International long list for 2019 I was very intrigued by it!
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