Jokha Alharthi burst to sudden international literary stardom in 2019, when her second novel, Sayyidat al-Qamr (tr. Marilyn Booth as Celestial Bodies), won the International Booker. The novel, touted as the “first by an Omani woman to be translated to English,” has since appeared in languages around the world. More novels by Omani women, including Bushra Khalfan’s The Garden, are forthcoming in English translation, and Alharthi’s Narinja (also tr. Booth, as Bitter Orange Tree) will appear in May 2022. In this episode, we talk Omani literature, history, translation, and the extraordinary Bitter Orange Tree.
Six Languages, Six Covers: Celestial Bodies Around the World
On Turning ‘Sayyidat al-Qamr’ into ‘Celestial Bodies’ and the Tyranny of the New
New Yorker review: An Omani Novel Exposes Marriage and Its Miseries
Excerpt of Celestial Bodies on WWB: London
Excerpt of Bitter Orange Tree on Carnegie Foundation website: Al-Rahma
More at Alharthi’s website, jokha.com
Our episode on Sonallah Ibrahim’s novel Warda, also set in Oman.