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The Bitter Orange Tree


The new novel from the International Booker Prize-winning author of Celestial Bodies

NARINJAH tells the story of Omani student Zuhur at a British university as she reflects on her relationship with her grandmother, who passed away just after Zuhur left the country.  Bint Amir is not, we learn, related to Zuhur by blood – but by an emotional bond far stronger; as the historical narrative of the grandmother’s challenged circumstances unfurls, so too does the story of Zuhur’s lonely and unfulfilled present, one narrative segueing into another as social status, wealth, desire and female agency are explored in a literary tour de force.

Jokha Alharthi is the author of ten works, including three collections of short fiction, two children's books, and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in Edinburgh, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. Celestial Bodies was shortlisted for the Sahikh Zayed Award for Young Writers and her 2016 novel Narinjah won the Sultan Qaboos Award for culture, art and literature. Her short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean and Serbian.

  • Publisher: Scribner UK (June 9, 2022)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471193910