“The White Darkness” falls on Iranian bookstores

April 30, 2021 - 18:37

TEHRAN – English writer Geraldine McCaughrean’s novel “The White Darkness” has recently been published in Persian by Peydayesh Publishing House in Tehran.

Farmehr Amirdoost is the translator of the book originally published in 2005 by HarperCollins Publishers.

In her first contemporary young adult novel, Carnegie Medalist and three-time Whitbread Award winner McCaughrean delivers a spellbinding journey into the frozen heart of darkness.

In this book, shy teenager Symone “Sym” Wates is taken to Antarctica by her domineering “uncle”, Victor Briggs, who after the death of her real parent has appointed himself as her surrogate father. 

An obsessive believer in the hollow earth theories of John Cleves Symmes, Jr., Briggs is convinced that in Antarctica he will find the entrance to the Inner World and its inhabitants. 

He is ready to sacrifice Sym and others to prove his theory, and increasingly puts her in danger until she finally sees the truth about him. She is then able to escape his plans for her. Briggs dies still pursuing his obsession while Sym returns to her own life with new freedom.

The book won Michael L. Printz Award in 2008.

“Symone’s unforgettable voice propels this journey of discovery in a book that is intricately plotted, richly imaged and brings new meaning to the term unreliable narrator,” said Printz Award Committee Chair Lynn Rutan.

“Readers will need to hang onto their snow goggles in this compelling book in which nothing is as it seems at first glance.”

It was also shortlisted for the Calderdale Children’s Book Award in 2006.

The novel won the Whitbread Children's Book Award in  2005.

McCaughrean has written over 120 books, 50 short plays for schools and a radio play.

Her adult novels include “Fires’ Astonishment” and “The Ideal Wife”, but she is best known for her children’s books. 

She writes for children of all ages, from first readers, picture books and younger children’s books, to children’s novels, which include “A Little Lower than the Angels”, “Gold Dust” and “Not the End of the World”, each of which have won the Whitbread Children’s Book Award, making her the only writer to have won this award three times.

McCaughrean has also written several collections of stories, including bible stories and fairy tales. 

She specializes in the retelling of classic tales such as “The Canterbury Tales”, “The Odyssey”, “Moby Dick” and “El Cid” and of myths and legends from around the world. These books include “The Orchard Book of Greek Myths” and “The Orchard Book of Roman Myths”.

McCaughrean lives in Berkshire. Her book, “Not the End of the World”, is currently being adapted for the stage. In 2005, she was chosen to write the official sequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Peter Pan in Scarlet was published in 2006.

Photo: Front cover of the Persian translation of English writer Geraldine McCaughrean’s novel “The White Darkness”.


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