India as GoH at Paris Book Fair – An update

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The Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Emmanuel Lenain, announced that, as part of a reciprocal invitation, India is the guest of honour this year at Livre Paris (Paris Book Fair, March 20-23, 2020), while France will be the guest of honour at the New Delhi World Book Fair, January (2022). India was the Guest Country in Paris in 2002 and 2007 as well. Leading and emerging Indian authors will be invited to Paris to meet readers, while publishing industry professionals will consolidate the cooperation between France and India in this area during networking events.

H.E. Emmanuel Lenain, said, ‘Having India as a guest of Honour at Livre Paris is a great opportunity to bring our minds closer and understand each other better. The fair will give a boost to the translations and publications of Indian books by French publishers and to the dynamic network between the French and Indian publishing industries.”

Romain Rolland Book Prize

Announcing the winner of the Romain Rolland Book Prize, awarding every year the best translation of a French title into any Indian language, including English, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain said, “Three years into the existence of the Romain Rolland Book Prize, we have seen some talented translators and publishers awarded for their works. This year, we received 7 titles including fiction and a comic series. I am glad to announce that out of the four short-listed works, the Franco-Indian jury selected this year: the first three albums of the Astérix series: Asterix and the Golden Sickle, Asterix and the Goths and Asterix the Gladiator, translated into Hindi by Dipa Chaudhuri and Puneet Gupta and published by Om Books. I understand that the translation of Asterix was not easy, the names of the characters being products of word play with references to French terms. The translators have indeed done an exceptional work of contextualising some of these names while staying true to its original meaning. It is amazing to see such a part of French heritage, a glimpse into the history of the country from where the language originates, now being available to Hindi readers.”

Indian presence at the Paris Book fair:
  • Around 30 Indian authors representing all linguistic regions of India are expected.
  • About 15 Indian publishers will participate in the 2 professional days on 18th and 19th March organised by the BIEF (International Bureau of French Publishers).
  • Around 20 new Indian titles will be translated into French for the occasion and 15 books will get into reprint.

Jean-Claude Perrier, literary advisor on the French side, is also planning to include debates on:

  • The India of tomorrow : economy / development / ecology/climate
  • Writing / Re-writing India’s history
  • Indian Cities, inhabitable megacities? Special issue of French Revue Critique
  • Tagore : a national monument (on the occasion of the publication of a Quarto/Gallimard of his works)
  • Translation and adaptation of the Mahabharata (particularly to theatre/opera and comic books)
  • The great Indian novel in the presence of the authors and / or their translators.

The fair will have a gastronomy and literature stand, on the initiative of Priti Paul, Apeejay Group, sponsor of the Romain Rolland Prize and other literary and cultural events.

An Indian Moment

Livre Paris will be a special ‘Indian moment’ in France, with cultural and lecture side-programmes in libraries, bookshops and cultural landmarks in Paris and other cities in France. This Indian moment will go on after the Fair and will feature, among others:

  • The festival of travel writing ‘Etonnants Voyageurs’, on the last weekend of May 2020, with at least half a dozen Indian guest authors.
  • ARSMONDO INDE: the festival organised by Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg will invite Indian authors invited from India and the UK.

The National Book Trust (NBT) is the partner on the Indian side, and the SNE-REED (the French Publishers Association (SNE) along with its logistic partner REED) is the organiser on the French side. The Indian Pavilion will be designed by the NID (National Institute of Design), Ahmedabad.

The curator is Jean-Claude Perrier, literary adviser for India, in coordination with the attaché for books at the French Institute in India, Christine Cornet.

(Source: Communication Section French Institute in India)

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