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French Voices Grand Prize Honors Daewoo By François Bon

On February 23, 2017, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation 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, listed below, also received a French Voices award during the ceremony. 

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. Heavily researched and rich in detail drawn from interviews with former employees of the corporation, Daewoo focuses on four women and the haunting absence of a fifth one, Sylvia, who committed suicide after the plant closed.

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy created the French Voices program in 2006 to strengthen the position of French as the most translated language in the United States. Over the past 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 are many notable examples such as Muriel Barbery’s The 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.


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- Mémoires d'outre-mer (2015)* by Michaël Ferrier, transl. by Martin Munro- Joseph (2014)*; transl. Laurie Postlewate- 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.