Oman author Jokha Alharthi wins 2019 Man Booker International Prize

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India May 22, 2019, 11.42 AM(IST)

Jokha Alharthi is the first Arabic-language author to win a Man Booker. Photograph:( Twitter )

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The book is a story of three sisters and of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.

Jokha Alharthi, an author from Oman has won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize 2019 for 'Celestial Bodies'. The book is a story of three sisters and of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.

Jokha Alharthi, the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize, will split the 50,000 pound (USD64,000) purse with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth.

Historian Bettany Hughes, who led the judging panel, said Tuesday that the winning novel was "a book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure." 'Celestial Bodies' beat five other finalists from Europe and South America, including last year's winner, Poland's Olga Tokarczuk.

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The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English.