Jokha Alharthi is the first Omani to have a novel translated into English and her book Celestial Bodies is the first Arabic novel to have won the International Booker Prize. Alharthi’s story brings the lives of women in a rapidly changing Oman into sharp focus.
For many of her Western readers these stories are a rare and insightful window into a little-known world. Rijula Das’ debut novel A Death in Shonagachhi was recently released by Picador India and tells the story of sex workers in Calcutta. They speak with Kiran Dass about their relationship to their fictional creations and why we need more stories about women, written by women.