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Celestial Bodies

You don’t always need a plane ticket to travel; sometimes, all you need is a book. Fiction allows us to explore worlds beyond our own, taking us out of life’s everyday tangles, and allowing us to move forward with a wider perspective. So rather than travel physically, Good Scribes Only is traveling to Europe, Africa, Central America, North America, Oceania, the Middle East, and Asia by way of literature. Fourth stop, North America! 

In the village of al-Awafi, Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries following a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a feeling of duty; and Khawla, who refuses all marital offers and awaits a reunion with her true love, who has moved to Canada. Against the backdrop of a country modernizing from a traditional, slave-owning society, we follow the losses and love affairs of these three women and their families. Through the sisters, we’re provided a panoramic view into Omani society from the poorest slaves to the families who profited off capitalism, globalism, and modernization. Spread over several decades and generations, the narrative structure is both original and impressive and is a prime example of the beauty and power of fictional storytelling.

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