Dr. Jokha Mohammed Al Harthi has been included on the long list for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given in recognition to writers for their stories. Dr. Jokha Al Harthi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Arabic Language & Literature of the College of Arts & Social Sciences at SQU. She was shortlisted for her book Celestial Bodies, a coming-of-age novel set in Oman, which tells the tale of three young women, and how the Sultanate develops from their perspective. The English version of the book is published by Sandstone Press, and is available to buy in both paperback and e-book format.
A statement from her publishers said, “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 society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present,” added Sandstone Press. “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.”
Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels in Arabic. She completed a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in Edinburgh. She has been shortlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Award for Young Writers and her short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean, and Serbian. Dr. Al Harthi’s inclusion on this list has received congratulations from others in the literary world as well.