In Jokha Alharti’s short story زيارة (A visit), translated from Arabic into English by Marilyn Booth, a woman tries to visit her lover who lives in the fifth floor of a strange building. The woman’s journey through the building to find a hidden passage is mired in obstacles, real and imaginary.
The story was first published in our print publication Resonance 2, 2020, both in Arabic and the especially commissioned translation into English by Marilyn Booth, who previously translated Jokha AlHarti’s Booker Prize International winning novel Celestial Bodies.
Jokha Alharthi is an Omani writer and academic. She has published three collections of short stories, three novels (Manamat, Sayyidat el-Qamar and Narinjah) and three children’s books. Jokha won the Sultan Qaboos Award for Culture, Arts and Literature, for her novel Narinjah (Bitter Orange) in 2016. Sayyidat el-Qamar was shortlisted for Zayed Award 2011. An English translation by Marilyn Booth was published in the UK by Sandstone Press in June 2018 under the title Celestial Bodies and won the Man Booker International Prize 2019. Celestial Bodies has been so far translated into twenty languages including French, Norwegian, Russian, Portuguese, Greek and Chinese.
Marilyn Booth holds the Khalid bin Abdallah Al Saud Chair for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, Oxford University. Recent scholarly books are Classes of Ladies of Cloistered Spaces: Writing Feminist History in fin-de-siècle Egypt and Migrating Texts: Circulating Translations around the Ottoman Mediterranean. She is completing a monograph on nineteenth- century feminism in Egypt. She has translated many works of fiction from the Arabic, most recently Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies, winner of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, and The Penguin’s Song and No Road to Paradise, by Lebanese novelist Hassan Daoud. She is currently translating Huda Barakat’s Night Post, winner of the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and Jokha Alharthi’s most recent novel, Narinjah.