Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

2013 - Howard Curtis for 'In the Sea there are Crocodiles' by Fabio Geda, translated from Italian

Howard Curtis was this year’s Award winner for his translation from Italian to English of 'In the Sea There are Crocodiles: Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari', originally written by Fabio Geda. The story recalls the experiences of ten-year-old Enaiat who is taken by his mother across the border to Pakistan, and is left there to fend for himself, when his village in Afghanistan falls to Taliban rule in early 2000. Here begins Enaiat’s perilous five-year journey, which takes him through Iran, Turkey, and Greece before he seeks political asylum in Italy at the age of fifteen.

Along the way, Enaiat endures the physical and emotional difficulties associated with being a young asylum seeker, from crossing dangerous borders to trekking across mountain pathways for days on end.

Howard Curtis’s translation perfectly conveys the young boy’s memories, preserving the childlike voice and perspective, whilst capturing his view on his struggles and ordeals, in a story which is ultimately about survival and hope.