We publish books for children and young adults with a strong Indian flavour.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee awarded IBBY Honour List 2012 Diploma for outstanding translation


Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee’s translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s The Dreadful Beauty nominated for excellence by IBBY in its Honour List 2012-

We are happy to announce that the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) today awarded the biennial IBBY Honour List 2012 Diploma to Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee for his translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s The Dreadful Beauty published by Ponytale Books as an outstanding, recently published book, for the quality of its translation and for being representative of best in children’s literature from India and suitable for publication throughout the world, as part of IBBY International Congress celebrations at the Imperial College in London.

This is the first ever international recognition for an Indian children’s book where a translation from an Indian language into English has been commended by IBBY, an non-profit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together with the mission to promote international understanding through childhren's books.

The Dreadful Beauty
was originally written in Bengali as Bhoyonkor Sundor by eminent litterateur Sunil Gangopadhyay. The book contains the first adventure of Kakababu, an anti-thesis of a conventional detective, who has found a place for himself in the pantheon of Bengali fictional detective characters.

“I strongly believe that there are excellent books for children and young adults in Bengali which need to be projected on a national and international platform. If the selection of my translation in the IBBY Honour List motivates more people to undertake the task of translation in this area, I will feel my effort rewarded," said, Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee after receiving the much coveted IBBY 2012 Honour Diploma.

“It is indeed an honour for our young publishing house to get this global recognition. We are all the more delighted since this is the first ever nomination of a translation of a book from an Indian language into English nominated from India. This Honour reflects the quality of Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee’s translation and international acceptance of the popular detective Kakababu created by Sunil Gangopadhyay,” said Pranav Kumar Singh, publisher, Ponytale Books.

Ponytale Books has also published Sobuj Dwiper Raja (The King of the Verdant Island) and is in the process of bringing out Pahad churay atank (Terror on Mountain Top), Jongoler modhye hotel (Mystery of the Hotel in the Jungle) and Khali Jahajer Rohosyo (Mystery of the Empty Ship) for readers in English.

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About IBBY Honour List
The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books, honouring writers, illustrators and translators from across the world. These books represent the best in children’s literature from each country and are suitable for publication throughout the world. The 2012 list comprises 169 titles from 58 countries in 44 languages. The Honour List books are showcased in several parallel travelling exhibitions in Japan, Russia, USA and at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2013. Thereafter the books will be kept as permanent deposits at the International Youth Library in Munich and other research collections in Russia, Japan, Slovakia, Switzerland and the USA.

About International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)
Founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 1953, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a non-profit organization which represents an international network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together with the mission to promote international understanding through children's books. IBBY today, it is composed of seventy National Sections all over the world.

As a non-governmental organization with an official status in UNESCO and UNICEF, IBBY has a policy-making role as an advocate of children's books. IBBY is committed to the principles of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the United Nations in 1990. One of its main proclamations is the right of the child to a general education and to direct access to information and on IBBY’s insistence, the resolution includes an appeal to all nations to promote the production and distribution of children's books.

About Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee
Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee, currently the Director of K K Birla Foundation, has been associated with cultural administration for over three decades. A proponent of translations to and from Indian languages and into English, he is an able translator himself. His current focus is on translating the best of children and young adult literature from Bengali into English. He has translated Mahasweta Devi’s Armani Chamapar Gaachh (The Armenian Champa Tree, Seagull, Kolkata, 1998), Sirshendu Mukhopadhyaya’s Gosai Baganer Bhoot (The Ghost of Gosain Bagan, Ponytale Books, Kolkata, 2008) and Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Bhoyonkor Sundor (The Dreadful Beauty, Ponytale Books, Kolkata, 2010). He is currently translating short stories from Bengali into English and yet another adventure of Kakababu.

About Sunil Gangopadhyay’s detective Kakababu
Created in early 1970s, Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Adventures of Kakababu is very popular in Bengal. Kakababu’s enduring appeal and immense popularity lies in his character. Raja Roychowdhury, aka Kakababu, earlier with the Archaeological Survey of India, is not a sleuth in the conventional sense—he does not detect a crime. Instead, he is on a trail to detect the mystery behind well-known historical facts or to protect our cultural heritage or simply in the quest of the unknown. Kakababu is always accompanied by his young assistant, his 13-year old nephew Santu, probably the youngest assistant to a detective.

Gangopadhyay's craft in his books for children and young adults is particularly striking. He takes his readers to exotic locales—like Kashmir, Andaman Islands, Egypt, Kenya—in an equally exotic and unknown quest. Till the last pages, one keeps guessing the outcome—and the outcome itself is quite the unexpected! In the process, the young readers get visually transported to the setting of the story and subtly get to know about our history, geography and culture.

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