Dilshad: Hungry and Sated

Dilshad: Hungry and Sated
(working title)
دِلْشَاد (سيرة الجوع والشبع)
(Dilshad sira al ju walshaba)

Written by

(بشرى خلفان)

Published by


A vibrant and clever polyphonic tale of twentieth-century Muscat

Powerhouse of Omani letters Bushra Khalfan was among the first women novelists to be published in Oman, and Dilshad, her second novel, has not only made her a household name in Muscat but brought her fame across the Arabic-speaking region. Now in its ninth edition, it won the Katara Prize 2022 and was shortlisted for the IPAF 2022.

Khalfan’s vibrant and gritty twentieth-century epic spans three generations of minority communities within the ethnic, linguistic and cultural melting pot that is Muscat. Bringing to life a place and time never before explored in literature, Khalfan is as popular for the politically conscious insights her meticulously researched historical fiction offers as for its rambunctious spirit. It is this balance between the quirky and the profound that makes her work so effective: multiple narrators voice a tale populated by characters swept along on the often tragic currents of wider events, ground down by the inequity of the wider system, yet always retaining their irreverent and idiosyncratic survival strategies.

Approximate number of pages: 494 p.

Foreign rights: contact the author‘s agent


Translation samples

Reasons to publish this book

Beyond the boring Gulf bling all too familiar to European audiences, along the coast towards the Indian Ocean, lies the richly textured tapestry of Omani history, so intimately entwined with subcontinental and East African threads. Just across the water from the Mumbai of “Midnight’s Children” — a location Khalfan’s beautifully woven narrative encompasses — we are moved to both laughter and tears by the eccentrics dancing across the pages of this uniquely local yet universal novel of love, loss, family, and fate.

Prizes and awards

Reviewed by Alice Guthrie