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'Celestial Bodies' wins the 2019 Man Booker International Prize

By
Wade Sheridan

May 22 (UPI) -- Celestial Bodies, from author Jokha Alharthi and translated by Marilyn Booth, has won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.

The award highlights the finest works of translated fiction from around the globe. The over $55,000 prize will be divided up evenly between Alharthi and Booth.

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Celestial Bodies, published by Sandstone Press, follows three Omani sisters against the backdrop of an evolving Oman after the colonial era. The novel explores family connections and history.

Alharthi is the first female Omani novelist to be translated into English and is the first author from the Arabian Gulf to win the Man Booker International Prize.

Historian, author and broadcaster Bettany Hughes announced Celestial Bodies as the winner of the prize on Tuesday during a ceremony at the Roadhouse in London. Bettany chaired a panel of five judges that selected the book as the winner.

"The extraordinary thing about this book is it talks of a world in transition, philosophically, politically, intellectually, socially and that is the age that we live in now," Hughes said in a Man Booker Prize video about Celestial Bodies.

The novel Milkman by author Anna Burns won the Man Booker Prize in October.

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