Celestial bodies by Jokha Alharthir

IMG_7425Set in Muscat, Oman. Reviewed on 2018/12: https://www.instagram.com/p/Brncp8SnK68/

These next two books got me thinking a lot about #representation . Americans would probably all agree that no one particular book can represent this country. Shouldn’t we also give other places or cultures the same liberty to choose representation or even any representation at all regardless of how many books have been translated into English or published in general? I’m saying all this spiel because #celestialbodies feels trapped in an endless struggle to reach for both the #omani and the universal in the story. You don’t need to be an assiduous reader to realize that you have read this same story before: 3 #women representing 3 different generations as well as different paths which lead them to several degrees of failure, dislocation and betrayal. As I’ve said before, we basically have only 6-7 stories which we tell each other over and over again. The interesting and different aspect here is the fact that the story takes place in #oman . #jokhaalharti peppers the story with details and events with both traditional #omaniculture and the rapid changes happening in the country. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in discovering a country and society which we don’t tend to hear a lot here in the States. However I warn people against making these stories 100% representative of experiences which ultimately speak truth to individuals and families. Yes, they do shed some light into a place, a country as a first step, but we shouldn’t hold them as the sacrosanct representative of anything. It’s a book that aims to begin a dialogue more than define anything. #recommended #omaniliterature#muscat #sandstonepress #transitions#familyissues #generations #marriage#arabiclit #alwafi #london #omaniwomen#BestOmaniNovelAward

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