2016 French Voices Grand Prize Awarded to Daewoo by François Bon Translated into English by Youna Kwak

February 27, 2017 | By French Culture
New York, February 24, 2017–The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation have announced the recipient for the 2016 French Voices Grand Prize: Daewoo by François Bon. Originally published in French by Fayard in 2004, the English translation by Youna Kwak will be released by Diálogos Books in 2019.Ten other fiction and non-fiction titles received a French Voices award during the ceremony which was held on February 23rd at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. 
 
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy created the French Voices program in 2006 both to help increasing this market share and to strengthen the position of French as the most translated language in the United States. During the last ten years, thanks to its independent committee of experts,the program has supported passionate translators and publishers committed to bringing to American readers the best of French contemporary literature and non-fiction. Among the 117 titles distinguished since its inception aremany notable examples such as Muriel Barbery’sThe Elegance of the Hedgehog which sold over a million copies or more recently Tram 83 by Congolese writer Fiston Mwanza Mujila which was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
 
For the 2016 edition, 11 titles were selectedby the committee. The Grand Prize will receive $10,000 while the other ten titles will receive $6,000 each. Each award will be distributed among the publisher and translator. These titles will be available in U.S. stores in 2017 onwards. 
 
Based on true events, Daewoo is an evocative and powerful novel that recounts the closing of three Daewoo factories in the Lorraine region of France in 2002-2003 and its impact on the women who worked there. Based on research and interviews with former employees of the corporation, François Bon focuses on four women and the haunting absence of a fifth one, Sylvia, who committed suicide after the plant closed to highlight the sense of loss and emptiness in this proud industrial region where employment prospects are ever dimmer. Daewoo skirts the porous boundaries between theater, documentary, and fiction to create a work of great aesthetic force and political relevance. 
Founder & CEO of Tiers Livre Éditeur,François Bon is a leading voice in French experimental literature today. Born in 1953,he published his first book, Sortie d’usine, in 1982. Among his numerous other publications are novels, essays, theater plays, memoir and a trilogy on Rock (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin). He also experimented with drama and documentary film, and has been leading since 1998 an experimental collaborative online platform for contemporary writers, www.tierslivre.net. Bon currently teaches creative writing at the National School of Arts Paris-Cergy. 
 
Youna Kwak is a writer, translator, and teacher. Current works-in-progress include a memoir on Roland Barthes and intimacy, as well as a translation of VéroniqueBizot'sLes Jardiniers. Her work has been published in the Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Cerise Press, The Conversant, Horizon Review, Left-Facing Bird, Muthafucka, Neo, The Offing, Po&sie, Talking River, and West Branch Wired.
Full list of titles awarded in 2016:
- Daewoo (2004) by François Bon, transl. Youna Kwak, Diálogos, 2019
- Le Séminaire (2013) by Alain Badiou, transl. Susan Spitzer, Columbia University Press, 2017
- Amitié Eternelle (2014) by Anouck Durand, transl. by Elizabeth Zuba, Siglio Press, 2017
- Lévi-Strauss (2015), by Emmanuelle Loyer, transl. Susan Spitzer, Polity Press, 2017
- La vengeance du traducteur (2006), Brice Matthieussent, transl. Emma Ramadan, Deep Vellum, 2017
- Achab (séquelles) (2015) by Pierre Senges, transl. by Jacob Siefring, Contra Mundum Press, 2017
- Lire La Torah (2014), transl. by Michael B. Smith, Duquesne University Press, 2017
- Global Gay, Comment la revolution gay change le monde (2013) by Frédéric Martel, transl. by Patsy Baudoin, The MIT Press, 2018
Seeking for an American publisher: 
- Mémoires d'outre-mer (2015) by Michaël Ferrier, transl. by Martin Munro, seeking an American publisher
- Joseph (2014); transl. Laurie Postlewate,seeking an American publisher
- Les Bas-fonds. Histoire d’un imaginaire (2013), by Dominique Kalifa, transl. by Robin Holing, seeking an American publisher
 
Members of Selection Committee, 2016
-Esther Allen, Associate Professor, Baruch College, CUNY
-Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, Assistant Professor, The City College of New York
-André Benhaïm, Associate Professor, Princeton University
-Cécile Bishop, Assistant Professor of French, New York University
-Olivier Brossard, Poet, Associate professor and translator, University Paris Est
-Roger Célestin, Professor of French & Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Connecticut
-William Cloonan, formerly Professor of French at Florida State University
-Peter Consenstein, Professor of French, The Graduate Center, CUNY
-Linda Coverdale, Translator
-Vincent Debaene, Professor at the University of Geneva
-Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Professor of French and Philosophy, Columbia University
-Emmanuelle Ertel, Associate professor and translator, New York University
-Samir Haddad, Associate professor of Philosophy, Fordham University
-Stéphane Gerson, Professor of French and French Studies, New York University
-Alice Kaplan, John M. Musser Professor of French, Yale University
-Mark Polizzotti, Translator and Publisher & Editor in Chief at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
-Dan Simon, Publisher, Seven Stories Press
-Jordan Stump, Professor and translator, University of Nebraska
-Thibault Lacarrière, Cultural Attaché, Head of the Book Department, Cultural Services of the French Embassy (advisory role only)
 
The call for applications for the 2017 session of French Voices Awards is now open, and runs through May 15, 2017. More information here: www.frenchculture.org.
 
The French Voices Award furthers the French Embassy’s mission to promote French and Francophone literature and to encourage English translations of French fiction and non-fiction. Also in service of this mission, the Embassy will launch a second literary prize in connection with its reading room and bookshop, Albertine, in spring 2017. More details will follow in a separate release.
The Award is made possible thanks to the support of FACE Foundation, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
 
About the French Voices Program
The French Voices program was created in 2006 by the French Cultural Services and PEN American Center to support translations from French to English and to encourage the publication of French titles in the U.S. Since its inception, the program has helped the translation of 117 French titles. Several French Voices grantees have become best-sellers, such as Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog (2008), which sold over 900,000 copies, André Comte-Sponville’sThe Little Book of Atheist Spirituality (2008), and Pierre Bayard’s How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read (2009).
The full list 2006-2016 is available at: http://face-foundation.org/french-voices/previous-grantees.html. The program is supported by the French American Cultural Exchange Foundation.
 
About Diálogos
Diálogosis an imprint of Lavender Ink, founded in 1995 in New Orleans by Bill Lavender, its the Director and Editor in Chief. Prior to 2012, the press published only poetry, but opened up to fiction, and non-fiction. Diálogos is devoted to literatures which have cross-cultural significance, primarily but not exclusively literature in translation. It is envisioned, too, that such work will often have a political component.
 
About The Cultural Services of the French Embassy 
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org
 
About FACE Foundation 
FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by the state of New York. For more, visit www.face-foundation.org
 
Media Contact
Camille Desprez – + 1 (212) 439-1417 – camille.desprez@diplomatie.gouv.fr
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