December 2019 Book: Celestial Bodies
Let's read this year's winner of the Man Booker International Prize, which comes from a country you probably have never read a book of before: Oman.
"Celestial Bodies", written by Jokha Alharthi, 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, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present.
The author Jokha Alharthi is the first Omani woman to have a novel translated into English, and "Celestial Bodies" is the first book translated from Arabic to win the Man Booker International Prize.
In line with the setting of the book, let's meet at an Arabic restaurant.
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