Omani Jokha Alharthi won the literary prize on Tuesday evening in London Man Booker International, which rewards a work translated into English, for “Celestial Bodysuits“, a novel described as”subtle“,”lyrical” and “deep“by the jury.
For the first time since its inception in 2005, the Man Booker International has honored an author from the Gulf, who is also the Sultanate’s first novelist to be translated into English.
“It’s a great honor“, the winner told AFP,”delighted“with this price”a window was opened on the rich Arabic literature in general and the literature of Oman in particular“.
For the president of the jury, Bettany Hughes, “the book conquers minds and hearts in equal measure“.
With a “delicate art“, the author us”leads into a richly imagined community that allows us to tackle deep issues such as weather, mortality and troubling aspects of our shared history“.
“Celestial Bodies evokes the forces that constrain us and those that free us“, she added, also welcoming a translation”precise and lyrical“.
In his novel “Celestial Bodysuits“(Sandstone Editions), Jokha Alharthi, 40, recounts the slow evolutions of Omani society after the colonial era through the loves and sorrows of three sisters, living in the village of al-Awafi. Mayya marries Abdallah after a heartache, Asma marries out of a sense of duty, and Khawla rejects all advances while waiting for her beloved, who has left for Canada.
The book also talks about slavery. “I believe literature is the best platform to have this discussion“, the author told AFP.
For judges, this book offers “a very colorful, captivating and poetic overview of a society in transition“.
The daily The Guardian had praised a work which gives to see “a culture relatively unknown in the world“and The National for its part welcomed the emergence of”a major literary talent“.
Radiant under a silvery veil, Jokha Alharthi thanked her editors and the translator of her novel into English, Marilyn Booth, 64 years old. The two women share a reward of 50,000 pounds (approximately 57,900 euros).
Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous short stories, a children’s book and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she earned a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in Edinburgh, Scotland, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat, the port capital of the Sultanate of Oman.
His short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean and Serbian.
Established in 2005, the Man Booker International Literary Prize aims to encourage the reading of quality works of fiction written around the world.
Among the previous laureates we find the Israeli David Grossman, the American Philip Roth or the Nigerian Chinua Achebe.
This year, only one man was among the six finalists. Was in the running in particular the French Annie Ernaux for “The Years“(“Years“).
We would like to give thanks to the author of this short article for this remarkable content
Man Booker International Literary Award winner from Gulf