Omani author first in Arabian Gulf to be shortlisted for prestigious literary prize

April 10, 2019

An Omani author has created history for being shortlisted for one of the biggest literary fiction awards in the world – the Man Booker International Prize for 2019.

Jokha Alharthi's book Celestial Bodies , translated from the original Omani novel Sayyidat al-Qamar , has been shortlisted from among 13 books that were previously longlisted for the 2019 Prize.

Jokha's literary achievement is extraordinary as she is the first writer from the Arabian Gulf to have been longlisted. Getting shortlisted with five other writers has been unprecedented for any writer from the Arabian Gulf.

This year’s Man Booker International Prize shortlist features six books translated from five languages, hailing from five countries and three continents, but only one male writer alongside five female authors and an all-female list of translators.

The shortlist of the six books in contention for the 2019 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, was revealed on Tuesday April 9, in London. The £50,000 prize for the winning book, which will be announced on May 21, will be divided equally between its author and translator.

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