Margaret Jull Costa wins 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation

In September we announced that Dr Gillian Lathey, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Children’s Literature at the University of Roehampton, was a part of the English-Speaking Union‘s event to announce the shortlist for the 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. 

The Marsh Award23 January 2015 — The winner of the 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation is Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of The Adventures of Shola, from the original Basque text by Bernardo Atxaga. The ceremony was held at Dartmouth House in London, the home of the English-Speaking Union, who have administered this award on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust biennially since 2007. The Award has been offered since 1996 and celebrates, encourages and promotes the high quality of translated fiction for young readers.

Speaking of Jull Costa’s winning piece, the judges said, ‘this is a delightful book which can be enjoyed by anyone as it is full of humour, for young people and adults alike. There are delightful characters with very real personalities and some truly philosophical moments throughout. This is such an accessible text, made up of stories which are so satisfying to read aloud and the wonderful translation really makes the story come alive for a new audience.’ 

The Adventures of Shola translated

Margaret Jull Costa, the winning translator, told the assembled audience at Dartmouth House: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to win this award, because it’s a book I absolutely love, and because any translation prize is also a prize for the original author, in this case the wonderful Bernardo Atxaga and his equally wonderful illustrator Mikel Valverde. I would also like to say how important I think this prize is, celebrating as it does children’s literature in translation.’ 

Adam Freudenheim, Publisher and Managing Director at Pushkin Press said, ‘We are absolutely thrilled and delighted with this award and honour. It’s particularly gratifying as Shola was one of the first books I acquired for this new imprint, which was founded in 2013. It was a delightful surprise to find that Pushkin Press had 3 books on the shortlist, and even more delightful to find out that we had won! All credit must go to Margaret for her flawless translation, and for first bringing the book to my attention.’