Jokha Alharthi the First Arabic Writer to Win Booker International Prize

News Bharati    22-May-2019

Mascat, May 22: Jokha Alharthi, an Omani author has won Man Booker International Prize 2019, the most prestigious award in literature. She has been awarded for her masterpiece ‘Celestial Bodies’, the story of three sisters of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.


Jokha Alharthi is the first Arabic language writer winning this prize. ‘Celestial Bodies’ beat five other finalists from Europe and South America. Judging Panel leader historian Bettany Hughes said yesterday that the winning novel was “a book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure.’’


Jokha Alharthi is a 41 year old Omani author. She took her education in Oman and the UK and obtained her PhD in classical Arabic Literature from Edinburg University. She has published three short stories and three novels namely Manamat, Sayyidat el-qamar, and Narinjah. Her work has been translated to English, Serbian, Korean, Italian and German.
Sayyat el-qamar was translated into English Marilyn Booth which was published in the UK by Sandstone Press in 2018 under the title Celestial Bodies. Jokha has announced to offer 50,000 pounds to the translator.