2019 Man Booker International Prize: Celestial Bodies

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“The extraordinary thing about this book is it talks of a world in transition—philosophically, politically, intellectually, socially—and that is the age that we live in now.” Bettany Hughes, chair of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, and fellow judges speak about Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press, 2018) written by Jokha Alharthi and translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth, which won this year’s award. Alharthi is the first female Omani novelist to be translated into English, and the first author from the Arabian Gulf to win the prize.

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Khaled Khalifa

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Khaled Khalifa talks with Renée Ragin at Duke University about questions of Arab and Syrian identity, the relationship between his writing and war, and themes of death and difficult journeys in his fifth novel, Death Is Hard Work (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019). The novel, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price, is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Dunya Mikhail

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“When you write a poem in your language, you write it one time. And when you think in the other language, and try to write a poem in the other language, I feel as if it’s a new poem. They say ‘lost in translation’ but also there are things found in translation.” Dunya Mikhail, author of The Iraqi Nights (New Directions, 2014), translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, talks about the duality of living with multiple homes and languages, and how her journey from Iran to the United States affected her evolution as a poet. Mikhail occasionally translates her own work.

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