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Marsh Award 2009

I was delighted to be invited to the celebration of this prestigious award.  The English Speaking Union is housed in a wonderful building just off Berkeley Square (and no, I didn't hear any nightingales!)  The award recognises the wonderful work that translators do in bringing good books to English readers - from a very strong shortlist Sarah Ardizzone's translation from French of Toby Alone by Timothée de Fombelle, published by Walker Books, has won her the 2009 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation. 

Presenting the Award on 20th January 2009 at The English-Speaking Union, London, Anthony Horowitz said "Story-telling and literature are the fastest way to connect people, the truth is that you cannot really understand a nation unless you understand their culture. It would seem sensible to attempt to cross those boundaries in any way we can, particularly as we seem to live in a world in which the divides between religions and races seems more pronounced and more dangerous than ever. This is the just one reason why I am so pleased to support the Marsh Award."

Accepting the award and a cheque for £2000, Sarah Ardizzone responded: "I am flabbergasted and delighted to be receiving the Marsh Award 2009. I truly hope the prestige associated with this prize will help bring Timothée de Fombelle's extraordinary miniature world set in a tree, with its contemporary eco-flavour, as well as its timeless themes of friendship, epic adventures and unconventional families, to as wide a readership as possible. To my mind this is the greatest gift of the Marsh Award: shining the spotlight on world class literature for children, so that not only the deliciously shrunk perspective of Toby Alone but also the sheer diversity of the 2009 shortlisted books, translated from a wider range of languages than ever before, might travel into the hands and classrooms and libraries of young people across the UK."
Anthony Horowitz's full speech will be available in the next edition of The School Librarian.Aleksandra Marsh  (Marsh Christian Trust)  Anthony Horowitz (who gave the speech and presented the p

Pictured: Aleksandra Marsh (Marsh Christian Trust), Anthony Horowitz (who gave the speech and presented the prize), Sarah Ardizzone (the winner) and Valerie Mitchell (Director-General of the English Speaking-Union).

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