Translation works to hit book fair racks - The New Indian Express

Translation works to hit book fair racks

Published: 08th January 2013 08:43 AM

Last Updated: 08th January 2013 08:43 AM

When it comes to books, people generally look for different genres such as novels, short stories, essay collections or poetry collections. But there are book lovers, who are more interested in translation titles. In order to satisfy them, some of the major publishers have decided to bring in a large number of translation works from different regions and languages, at the 36th Chennai Book Fair beginning on January 11.

“Readers are interested to know what happens in the literary world of other languages. Hence publishing houses bring more translation titles every year,” said K V Shylaja, translator and publisher of Vamsi Books, Tiruvannamalai.

Vamsi Books had published many Tamil translation works, mostly of Malayalam writers such as Pal Zacharia, Kamala Das, Balachandran Chullikkadu among others. The memoir of actor Mamootty, written in Malayalam, was translated by K V Shylaja into Tamil, titled Moondram Pirai. The book grabbed the attention of many Tamil readers at the book fair a couple of years ago.

“Earlier, I neglected reading translations as I found them very complicated. But when I started to translate, I understood the difficulties,” she added.

Translation works Ayal Magarandha Serkkai by G Kuppusamy and Ottraikkadhavu by K V Jayashri, that were brought out by Vamsi last year, were well- received by readers. This year, the publishing house will bring six translation titles. Another major publishing house, Kalachuvadu, is said to be bringing around 10 titles, of which a couple of books were released in 2012.

Kannan Sundaram, publisher, Kalachuvadu, said, “The major challenge we face while publishing translation works is the complexity of the languages. There are only a handful of translators here.” Kalachuvadu translated and published the works of Jim Corbett, Pablo Neruda, Herman Melville, Paulo Coelho among others. Its publications of translations such as Kizhavanum Kadalum, Thottiyin Magan became popular among Tamil readers and were categorised as ‘classic varisai’ by the publication. At the book fair last year, Norungiya Kudiyarasu, a translation work of Arundhati Roy’s Broken Republic, sold like hot cakes.

Asked about the trend, Vairavan, secretary, BAPASI, organiser of the Chennai Book Fair, said, “Earlier, it was difficult to manage sales of translation titles. But with the changing times, readers are interested to read literature works of other languages too. Last year, around 50 translation titles were on sale. This year, we can expect more of it.”

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