The twelfth edition of the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival declared the winners of the fourth edition of the Romain Rolland Prize. The winners of the Romain Rolland Book Prize 2021 are translator Dr. S. A. Vengada Soupraya Nayagar and publisher Mr. Amutharasan Paulraj of Thadagam Publishers for the Tamil translation of Le mariage de plaisir (Editions Gallimard) by Tahar Ben Jelloun. The winning publisher and translator will be invited by the French Institute in India to the Paris Book Fair 2021 (Livre Paris 2021) where India will be the guest of honor country.
The jurors included Prof. Annie Montaut, Ms. Michèle Albaret-Maatsch, Ms. Renuka George, Ms. Sindhuja Veeraragavan, Prof. Geetha Krishnankutty and Prof. Chinmoy Guha. The expertise and diverse interests of the jury helped curate a wonderful shortlist and finally declared the winners. The Romain Rolland Book Prize which was started in 2017 aims at awarding the best translation of a French title into any Indian language, including English. The Indo-French jury takes into account the qualities of the translation and of the publication itself. The prize aims at encouraging and awarding the efforts made by Indian publishers to bring the best of Francophone literature and thought, in all its diversity, to the Indian readership. It is supported by Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group Priti Paul, via Apeejay Trust.
Mr. Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Counsellor for Education, Science and Culture, Embassy of France, and the Director of the French Institute in India, spoke at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival during the announcement of the winners of the Romain Rolland Book Prize 2021: “It has now been 4 years that the Romain Rolland Book Prize was created and we have seen some talented translators and pragmatic publishers awarded for their works. In the perspective of the Paris Book Fair 2021 where India is the focus country and which will see at least 30 Indian authors and publishers invited to Paris in May 2021 to meet the French readers, the French Institute in India is working more and more to increase translation of French books in Indian languages.”
In 2020 despite the challenging conditions, 11 titles were received for evaluation and amongst all-absorbing entries, the Indo- French jury had shortlisted 3 books translated into Malayalam, Hindi, and Tamil.
⦁ Souvenirs Dormants by Patrick MODIANO translated into Malayalam by Prabha R. Chatterjee, published by Green Books ;
⦁ Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier by Patrick MODIANO translated into Hindi by Sanjay Kumar, published by Rajpal & Sons ;
⦁ Le mariage de plaisir by Tahar BEN JELLOUN translated into Tamil by S. A. Vengada Soupraya Nayagar, published by Thadagam.
For its first edition, the award-winning title was Main Gumshuda by Patrick Modiano (the publisher was Pranav Johri, from Rajpal and Sons, the translation of Rue des boutiques obscures into Hindi was by Monica Singh. In 2019, the Prize went to La vie d’un homme inconnu, (The Life of an Unknown Man) by Andrei Makine, published in India by Kalachuvadu and translated into Tamil by S.R. Kichenamourty. And in 2020 the prize was awarded to the first three albums of the Astérix series: Asterix and the Golden Sickle, Asterix and the Goths and Asterix the Gladiator translated in Hindi by Dipa Chaudhuri, translator & Chief Editor at Om Books International & Puneet Gupta, translator, author and advertising professional.
Watch the session: https://www.facebook.com/TheAKLF/videos/247540610074687/