Jokha Alharthi with Rick Simonson
We are thrilled to be able to virtually present this reading and conversation program with Man Booker International Prize-winning novelist Jokha Alharthi . The first Omani woman writer to have her work translated into English, she is the author of four novels, three collections of stories, and three children’s books in Arabic. It was Marilyn Booth’s translation of her novel Celestial Bodies that received the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. She is also a professor at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. This evening is occasioned by Marilyn Booth’s translation of Narinjah, or Bitter Orange Tree (Catapult), a much-anticipated story of a young Omani woman leaving the bounds of home for university in Britain.
"Bitter Orange Tree blazes with the strength of generations of Omani women—from the charcoal makers of the Arab gulf to the international students of a British residence hall. This mesmerizing novel is an illuminating, important work and Jokha Alharthi points her pen at some of the most harrowing circumstances facing women and girls across the world. I am grateful to Marilyn Booth for her translation of this exquisite book.” —Kali Fajardo-Anstine.
"Jokha Alharthi is a remarkable writer for whom my admiration grows with each work. Watching the lives of Zuhour and Bint Amir unfurl within Bitter Orange Tree was a pleasure, and Alharthi's prose in the capable hands of translator Marilyn Booth is as clear and refreshing as a cool glass of water." —Sara Nović.