• Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bengali Translation Receives The Romain Rolland Book Prize 2024

Pankaj Kumar Chatterjee wins 7th Romain Rolland Book Prize for translating Jean-Daniel Baltassat's novel on Stalin into Bengali. Celebrating French literature's depth in Indian languages.
on Feb 29, 2024
Bengali Translation Receives The Romain Rolland Book Prize 2024

Jean-Daniel Baltassat, a French author, published his novel about Joseph Stalin in 2013.

Pankaj Kumar Chatterjee, the Bengali translator of Stalin's Couch, a French novel about the Soviet ruler's final years, has won the 7th Romain Rolland Book Prize.

It was established in 2017 by the French Institute in India and celebrates translations of French novels into Indian languages, including English.
Chatterjee said in a statement following his win, "I am overjoyed that my first translation from French into Bengali has been awarded the prize.

I am grateful to the French Institute in India for their assistance over the last two years, from securing funds through the Tagore (publishing aid) initiative to my selection as the awardee. I expect that more French works will be translated into Bengali. "I promise to do so."
This is the second time a Bengali translator has received the prize, following Trinanjan Chakraborty's 2022 win for Kamel Daoud's Meursault, contre-enquête.

Chatterjee's publisher, Pankaj Kumar Basak of New Bharat Sahitya Kutir, remarked, "I am encouraged by the honour given to the book I published. I will not hesitate in the future to publish further translations from French into Bengali or English."

The French original, Le Divan de Staline, by Jean-Daniel Baltassat, was transformed into the 2016 film of the same name.

Priti Paul, director of Oxford Bookstores, which sponsors the project through the Apeejay Trust, expressed her fervent hope that his honour will motivate many translators and publishers to continue their vital work in presenting the depth of French literature to Indian audiences. At Oxford Bookstores, we recognise the critical role translations play in enriching the literary landscape by exploring new cultures, viewpoints, and ideas, breaking down barriers and cultivating a deeper appreciation for the variegated beauty of world literature."

Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Director of the French Institute in India, stated, "Baltassat belongs to a tradition of French writers who excel in the art of historical fiction. With this prize, we hope to bring current French literature to the forefront and recognise the efforts of Indian publishers and translators to make these works available in India."

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