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Win is 'milestone achievement' for Sandstone Press


By Margaret Chrystall


SANDSTONE Press title Celestial Bodies, written by Jokha Alharthi and translated by Marilyn Booth, has won the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.

Celestial Bodies is the first novel by an author from the Arabian Gulf to have won the prize.

Winning title Celestial Bodies.
Winning title Celestial Bodies.

Sandstone’s managing director, Robert Davidson, said on Tuesday night after the announcement: ‘All of us at Sandstone Press are delighted and proud to be the publisher of this fine novel, Celestial Bodies, by Jokha Alharthi, which has been beautifully translated by Marilyn Booth.

“The Man Booker International Prize of 2019 is not only a first for Oman but also a milestone achievement for this company.

Managing director of Sandstone Press, Robert Davidson.
Managing director of Sandstone Press, Robert Davidson.

“More importantly, the people of Oman, and especially the women of Oman and the wider region, have a new star to follow in the shape of a young author who is only at the beginning of what I believe will be a lifetime of achievement. We all have much to celebrate.”

Jokha Alharthi said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Celestial Bodies has won the Man Booker International Prize.

“It is a great honour and I hope it will open a window to Arabic literature and Omani literature in particular. I feel incredibly proud.’

Translator Marilyn Booth.
Translator Marilyn Booth.

Translator Marilyn Booth said: “This is such an exciting award for the literature of the Gulf.

“I hope it gets publishers and readers more interested in the rich literature of the region.”



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