Taking Tamil to the world!

At Frankfurt Book Fair (October 18-22, 2023), Directorate of Public Libraries (DPL), Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation (TNTBESC) and individual publishers will not only promote the Chennai International Book Fair, but will also focus on translations.


A team of ten members including representatives from the Directorate of Public Libraries (DPL), Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation (TNTBESC), and individual publishers are headed to the ‘Frankfurt Book Fair’. A quick chat with Dr. D.S. Saravanan, organizer and joint director, TNTBESC, about their plans by Janani Rajeswari. S

AABP: You have taken up a stall in the FBF this year. Please tell us the reason for the same.

Dr D S Saravanan: Last year, we only attended the fair as representatives of the Government of Tamil Nadu. However, this year we decided to take a better step and have chosen to be an exhibitor at the fair. The main objective is to promote the ‘Chennai International Book Fair (CIBF)’ among the publishers from other countries. We would also like to promote the grants offered by Tamil Nadu. Also, it’s notable that Honourable Chief Minister, M.K.Stalin has increased the grant for translation to Rs. 3 crores this year.

AABP: Please tell us about the team heading there.

Dr D S Saravanan: This initiative is organised jointly by the Directorate of Public Libraries (DPL) and the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation (TNTBESC). The state government is sponsoring 6 members representing the Anna Centenary Library, Chennai, Kalaignar Centenary Library, Madurai DPL and TNTBESC and in total 10 members are going on behalf of CIBF. The team also includes four individual publishers: Aazhi Senthil Nathan (Aazhi Publishers), Muhammad Ali (Everbest Media), Olivannan Gopalakrishnan (Emerald publications), Ival Bharathi (Nam Pathippagam), and Ilangovan (Ailaysa Technologies).

AABP: Tell us about how the visit last year and the preparations for the visit this year.

Dr D S Saravanan: We observed that publishers were keen on the world knowing about their literature. So, we felt that we also need to focus on promoting outward grants. It’s important to take Tamil to the world and vice-versa. The preparations for the same began around two months ago. Mini Krishnan, coordinating editor, TNTBESC, started working on the brochures, fliers and the catalogue for the books that would be featured in the stall. Aazhi Senthil Nathan is looking after the appointments. Peer Mohammad, a translation agent, has been helping us in identifying different publishers to aid the task. The concept of translation agent is a new concept in Tamil publishing. Thus, we hope to develop the translation world through this visit.

AABP: What are the books being featured this time?

Dr Sankara: We have chosen 50 books with literary translation in English and other Indian languages. These include classics, modern literary work, sub-altern studies, short story collections by award winning writers and many other themes. The notable books include ‘Great Indian Dream’ (on C. N. Annadurai), Dravidian movement, ‘Vaadivasal’ (on jallikattu), Gandhi’s Travels in Tamil Nadu and so on. We made around 40 appointments with publishers whom we will be meeting at the fair in Frankfurt. We will also be presenting the synopsis of the book ‘Thoughts of Periyar’, which will be available in 21 languages including nine foreign languages.

The ‘Chennai International Book Fair’ stall will be in Hall No 5.1 C 94 at the Frankfurt Book Fair

What we expect from FBF

“We consider this as one of the best opportunities to showcase the potential of Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation in the international arena.” – R. Gajalakshmi, IAS, MD , TNTBESC

“The fellowship, which we are going to offer for CIBF-2024, will attract publishers.”

– K. Elambhaghawath IAS, Director of Public Libraries

“TN Translation grant has been increased from 1.5 to 3 crores. This will attract translation agents.” – Mini Krishnan, Coordinating Editor, TNTBESC

“Chennai International Book Fair had fantastic start in January. The next edition same time must be one that is establishing it firmly on the world book market. It has already created a momentum among Tamil publishers and authors to go global”

– Aazhi Senthilnathan, Azahi Publishers

“I am seeing this as an opportunity to show the uniqueness of CIBF to the global literature industry.” – Muhammad Ali, Everbest Media

“I hope that the Frankfurt Book Fair will open up new gates for Tamil literature among the world book lovers.” – Amutha Valli , Joint Director, DPL

“Both Anna Centenary Library (ACL) and Kalaignar Centenary Library (KCL) will be benefitted because of our visit.”– Kamatchi, Librarian ( ACL) & Dinesh, Librarian (KCL)

“We would like to achieve our target of Taking Tamil to the World. I am seeing FBF is an opportunity for that.” – Olivannan Gopalakrishnan, Publisher, Emerald Publishers

“AI is already the talk of the town in Frankfurt this year. We will find how Tamil Nadu can be an outsourcing destination for global publishers who need AI solutions.” – Ilangoven, Ailaysa

“I would like to become a translation agent. I hope my visit to FIBF will help for that.”

– Ival Bharathi, Journalist cum publisher, Nam Pathippagam.

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