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3 books in Malayalam, Tamil shortlisted for Romain Rolland prize


New Delhi: Three books, translated into Malayalam and Tamil from French, have been shortlisted for the second Romain Rolland Prize.

The prize aims at awarding the best translation of a French title (francophone area) into any India language, including English.

This year, the original list included more translations into regional languages and essays as well as fiction.

An Indo-French jury short listed "La vie d'un homme inconnu" (The Life of an Unknown Man) by Andrei Makine, translated into Tamil by S.R. Kichenamourty; "Revolution dans la Revolution (Revolution in the Revolution) by Regis Debray, translated into Malayalam by Prabha R Chatterji; and "La peste" (The Plague) by Albert Camus, translated into Malayalam by Geetanjali.

The jury took 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.

The prize was launched during the Jaipur Literary Festival in January 2018 and is an annual event. The Romain Rolland Book Prize is supported by Priti Paul via Apeejay Trust.

The award this year consists of two invitations to the Paris Book Fair 2019 in March, for the translator and the publisher of the work.

The prize will be announced at Jaipur Bookmark on January 25.

"This time, we have had a very strong contribution from Indian languages outside English, particularly from the south. The shortlist testifies to the quality of these translations," says Bertrand de Hartingh, counselor for education, science and culture at the Embassy of France in India and director of the French Institute in India.

The inaugural award was given to the publisher and translator of "Main Gumshuda". Written by Patrick Modiano, the publisher is Pranav Johri, from Rajpal and Sons, and the translator Monica Singh.

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