Persian rendition of “Why We Live outside Town” tops at Flying Turtle Awards

March 12, 2022 - 19:8

TEHRAN – A Persian translation of Swiss writer Peter Stamm’s 2010 book “Why We Live outside Town” has won the gold prize of the 10th edition of the Flying Turtle Awards.

The Book City Institute and the Children’s Literature Studies Periodical are the organizers of the Flying Turtle Awards, which are presented annually to top children’s books in Iran.

Translated by Gita Rasuli, the book has been published by Ofoq with its original illustrations by Jutta Bauer.

“Why We Live outside Town” (“Warum Wir vor der Stadt Wohnen”) is a poetic discovery of the world and a wonderful book for the whole family.

In this book, Stamm tells about the search for the right place in this world. Sometimes the family lives on the uncle’s hat, on the roof of the church or on the moon, then again in the snow, in the cinema, or in the forest. It’s a long, beautiful journey into the wide, enticing world. Do not ask what is real and what is unreal. Just join in – with all your senses and full of curiosity. And together look for the place where you feel at home.

The Silver Flying Turtle Award was given to a Persian translation of American writer Katherine Applegate’s 2017 book “Wishtree”.

The Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults – Kanoon is the publisher of the Persian rendition by Bahar Alizadeh Sabur. The book has been illustrated by Morteza Yazdani-Asl.

The book is about Red, an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree” and people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this “wishtree” watches over the neighborhood.

Illustrator Gholam-Ali Maktabi and writer Shokufeh Taqi were also honored for their lifetime achievements.

In addition, a posthumous award was given to “Where Are You Hassanak”, a long poem composed by Mohammad Parnian in 1970 when he was 19.

In this poem, a little boy named Hassanak begins a journey to bring back the light and warmth in a land that has lost its sun at the end of a long and dark winter.

For the metaphorical sense of his poetry, Parnian was arrested by the then Iranian government. 

After his release from prison, he quit writing and didn’t talk about the issue anymore. He also chose to live in a village near the Sisangan National Park in northern Iran and died in solitude there in 2014. 

A jury of top writers and children’s literature experts, including Hamid Abazari, Mahmud Barabadi, Mina Haddadian, Ali-Asghar Seydabadi and Gisu Faghfuri, selected the winners.

Photo: Front cover of a Persian translation of Peter Stamm’s book “Why We Live outside Town”, which won the gold prize at the 10th Flying Turtle Awards.

MMS/YAW

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