I just received the this news from Tehran:

Shortlisted nominees of children's books of the 29th edition of the Book of the Year of Iran including fiction, science and technology, religion and poetry are just announced.


A) Fiction – Translation

1. 'Gathering Blue' - Lois Lowry – trans. Keyvan Abidi Ashtyani

2. 'Grateful Yours' – Jane Buchanan – trans. Parvin Alipour

3. 'Story of Sultan' – Samira Shafiq – trans. Mojtaba Rahmandoust

4. 'The Five Sisters' - Margaret Mahy – trans. Parvin Alipour

5. 'The tiger rising' - Kate DiCamillo – trans. Vida Lashgari Farhadi

6. 'Idle Witch' - Gianni Rodari – trans. Mahnaz Sadri

7. 'Long Way Home' - Michael Morpurgo – trans. Davod Lotfollah

8. ' Tamburlaine's elephants' - Geraldine McCaughrean – trans. Ali Jafari

9. ' Turk Ekizleri' (Turk Twins) – Jahed Ucuq – trans. H. M. Seddiq


It is especially surprising to me because GATHERING BLUE is a book about a repressive society, and we have come to think of Iran as being just that.  As it happens, though, I just last week saw the wonderful Iranian film called "A Separation": and it gave me a glimpse into the day-to-day middle-class life of that culture, and especially the role of women and girls which seemed less repressive in many ways than I had assumed. Not at all like the heavily veiled women under the Taliban.


Usually I am sent copies of my books in translation, but I don't think I have ever seen GATHERING BLUE in Farsi. One of the characters in "A Separation" is a 13-year-old girl, who is played by the daughter of the director. ( I wish I could have glimpsed what she was reading!)  Unfortunately I couldn't locate a photo of her...she has a haunting face. (This photo is two other characters in the film)