Celestial Bodies wins the Man Booker International Prize 2019
21 May 2019
Celestial Bodies by Jokha
Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth
from Arabic and published by our member Sandstone
Press has been announced as the winner of the Man
Booker International Prize 2019. Huge congratulations to all
The £50,000 prize has been divided equally
between its author and translator. Each shortlisted author and
translator also received a further £1,000 for being shortlisted.
The winner was announced by Bettany Hughes at a ceremony at the
Roundhouse in London.
Jokha Alharthi, the first female Omani
novelist to be translated into English, is the first author from
the Arabian Gulf to win the prize. The author of two other novels,
two collections of short fiction and a children's book, her work
has been published in English, German, Italian, Korean, and
Serbian. An award-winning author, she has been shortlisted
for the Sahikh Zayed Award for Young Writers and won the 2010 Best
Omani Novel Award for Celestial Bodies.
Marilyn Booth is an American academic and
translator who has translated many works of fiction from Arabic. A
fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford, she holds the Khalid bin
Abdallah Al Saud Chair for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World
at the Oriental Institute.
Celestial Bodies tells of family
connections and history in the coming-of-age account of three Omani
sisters. It is set against the backdrop of an evolving Oman, which
is slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, at the
crossroads of its complex present.
For more information, see the Man Booker Prize website.
For a fascinating interview with Kay Farrell
of Sandstone Press who championed, acquired and edited
Celestial Bodies, see our BooksfromScotland.com website.
The win has generated a lot of media interest
including: Dani Garavelli in Scotland on Sunday 26 May 2019; Phil Miller in
The Herald 23 May 2019; a BBC website piece 22 May 2019; Jane Bradley in
The Scotsman 22 May 2019; Alison Flood in The Guardian 21 May 2019; and Porter Anderson
in Publishing Perspectives 21 May 2019.
Above: the delighted writer, translator
and publishing team outside the Awards venue on 21 May