Romain Rolland Book Prize – 6th January

Romain Rolland Book Prize

Romain Rolland Book Prize

Romain Rolland Book Prize was started in 2017 which aims at awarding the best translation of a French title (francophone area) 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.

The awardee will be announced next year in 2021, where the winning publisher & translator will be invited by the Embassy of France to the Paris Book Fair (Livre Paris) in May 2021

In the Jury we have Prof. Annie Montaut, at INALCO, Renuka George, Translator from French to English, Michèle Albaret-Maatsch, translator from English to French, Chinmoy Guha, professor at theUniversity of Calcutta and Translator from French to Bengali, Sindhuja Veraaragavan translator from French to English and Dr. Geetha Krishnankutty Translator from French to Malayalam.

Shortlisted Books - 2021

Le Mariage de Plaisir by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Tahar Ben Jelloun

Translator: Dr. S. A. Vengada Soupraya Nayaga

Publisher: Thadagam

Dr.S. A. Vengada Soupraya Nayaga is an Associate Professor and Head of Department of French. Kanchi Mamunivar Govt. Institute for P.G.Studies and Research, Pondicherry. he got a Ph.D in French from Pondicherry University.

In 2018 he has been awarded a fellowship by French Institute of Embassy of France to accomplish a translation project staying in CITL, Arles as Resident Translator: working on the translation of Corps desirable, a French novel of Hubert Haddad into Tamil.

Among many French titles, Dr. S.A. Vengada Soupraya Nayagar has translated from French to Tamil Le Mariage de Plaisir of Tahar Ben Jelloun, La Tempête by Le Clézio and Pasteur : La vie…la mort…la vie of Erik Orsenna, launched online by the French Institute in India  in October 2020.

Souvenirs Dormants by Patrick Modiano

Translator: Dr. Prabha R. Chatterjee

Publisher: Green Books

Dr. Prabha R. Chatterjee is a retired Scientist from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. She is also a friend of languages as she speaks multiple languages including Malayalam, French, English, Bengali and Hindi.

From French to Malayalam, she has translated works from Emile Zola, 3 titles from Patrick Modiano and Les Sirènes de Bagdad of Yasmina Khadra.

Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier by Patrick Modiano

Translator: Sanjay Kumar

Publisher: Rajpal and Sons

Sanjay Kumar is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Francophone Studies, EFL University, Hyderabad. He did his Ph.D. in Swiss French Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in 2006. He collaborated in translating Moi, l’interdite, a French novel by Ananda Devi (a writer from Mauritius) into Hindi as Main Nirvasit, along with Prof. Asha Pande of Rajasthan University. He also translated from French into Hindi the French play, Antigone by Jean Anouilh.

The prize will be awarded to one of the shortlisted novels at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival on 22-23 January 2021.

The three books will be showcased at New Delhi World Book Fair 2022 where France will be the guest of honor.

Jury Members

Michèle Albaret-Maatsch, who was based in New Delhi and now moved back to France, has translated numerous authors including John Banville, Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, John Updike, Armistead Maupin, Dinaw Mengestu and Deepti Kapoor. She received in 2016 the literary Prize of the Francophony’s Ambassadors for her translation of John Banville “Ancient Light” into French.

Renuka George is a French – English translator and documentary filmmaker who is living in Paris. She has translated in India into English numerous French titles in the field of social sciences, fiction and children’s literature.

Chinmoy Guha (b. 1958 in Kolkata, India) is a polymath from Bengal. He is an eminent Professor of English at the University of Calcutta, a leading Bengali essayist and a highly esteemed translator and French Scholar. The Government of France has conferred on him the titles of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques and Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Annie Montaut is Professor Emeritus of Hindi language and literature at INALCO in Paris. She translated into French the works of Nirmal Verrna, Nirmal Verma, Krishna Baldev Vaid, Jainendra Kumar, Alka Saraogi, Geetanjali Shree, Kedarnath Singh, Anupam Mishra, Ashis Nandy.

Geetha KrishnankuttyDr. Geetha Krishnankutty is a Teacher, translator, radio playwright. She has translated 8 modern classics (DC Books, Kerala), short stories, and poems (Sahithya Academy journal) to Malayalam. She currently lives in Kerala.


Sindhuja Veeraragavan is a translator working between the French and English languages. Her translations include Frédéric Martel’s “Smart” for Harper Collins India and Nicolas Idier’s “Electric Nights in Beijing” for Yatra Books. 

2020 Edition

Title: Astérix comics

Author: Albert Uderzo, René Goscinny

Language: Hindi

The translators: Dipa Chaudhuri, translator & Chief Editor at Om Books International, and Puneet Gupta, translator, author and advertising professional.

The publisher: Om Books International (OBI), a 60-year-old company, is one of the largest English-language trade publishers in the Indian subcontinent and has been a leading force in the Indian publishing and retail industry for several years. With 1600 titles in print, and several more in the pipeline, Om Books International has co-editions of its titles in over 28 languages.

The jury: For the third edition of the Romain Rolland Book Prize, the distinguished jury was composed of Annie Montaut, Michèle Albaret-Maatsch, Renuka George, Nalini Tampi, Sindhuja Veeraraghavan and Chinmoy Guha.

2019 Edition

Title: La vie d’un homme inconnu

Author: Andrei Makine

Indian publisher: Kalachuvadu Publication

Language: Tamil

Translator: S.R. Kichenamourty

2018 Edition

Title: Rue des boutiques obscures

Author: Patrick Modiano

Indian publisher: Rajpal and Sons,

Language: Hindi

Translator: Monica Singh

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