Sidharth Vardhan

Jokha Al-harthi’s Celestial Bodies – a review

(A review of Jokha Al-harthis’s Celestial BodiesWon International man booker 2019 for English translation by Marilyn BoothReview first written on June 3, 2019) When it comes to diversity, International Man Booker presents nice trends – 3 of 4 winners have been from the third world and 3 have been women. That said, Jokha Al-harthi’s Celestial Bodies ain’t the most deserving one in my arrogant opinion – Annie Ernaux’s ‘The Years’ is the best of 5 books listed in the long list this year that I have read. The summary saying it is the story of 3 sisters might suggest it is a family story – which it is, but it manages to capture a lot of Onami life including the slave trade, politics, changing education scene, smuggling, etc. In fact, at times, it seemed like the book might as well be described as the story of Abdullah who has to his credit the biggest number of chapters. The stories of 3 sisters, by themselves, get a much smaller number of chapters – in fact, the stories of two younger sisters don’t start till much later. Jokha Al-harthi For the most part, the book occurs in flashbacks. Alharthi would pick a

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