A poetic novel of great beauty and intensity, Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies is the first novel written in Arabic to win the International Booker Prize. Through the lives of interconnected families across three generations, it reveals the radical changes that have transformed Oman over the last century, from a traditional slave-owning country to a complex contemporary society. Told from alternating first and third perspectives, this rich family saga combines deep cultural insight with clever construction.
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Jokha Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children's book, and three novels, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She is the only Arabic author to win the International Booker Prize, awarded to her novel Celestial Bodies in 2019.
Claire Nichols is the host of The Book Show on ABC RN. She has spent a decade at the ABC, with roles in news, current affairs, local radio and at RN.