Transcending Borders: Sahitya Akademi's 2023 Translation Prizes

Image of the Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize 2023 plaque surrounded by books, symbolizing literary translation and cultural exchange
Transcending Borders: Sahitya Akademi's 2023 Translation Prizes

The Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, led by President Sri Madhav Kaushik, assembled at Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, to announce the selection of 24 books for the Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize 2023. These selections, determined through meticulous procedures and rules, were recommended by three-member Selection Committees representing various languages. The chosen translations, originally published between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2021, epitomize excellence in literary translation.

Selection Process and Prize Details:

The Selection Committees meticulously recommended translations in their respective languages. Each prize, comprising a cash award of Rs. 50,000 and a copper plaque, will be bestowed upon the translators during a special ceremony later this year.

Tamil Translator Kannaiyan Daksnamurthy Honored for "The Black Hill":

Renowned Tamil translator Kannaiyan Daksnamurthy received accolades for his translation of Mamang Dai’s novel "The Black Hill." Originally published in English in 2014, the novel, translated into Tamil as "Karungunram" in 2016, earned Daksnamurthy the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation. This isn't Daksnamurthy's first translation triumph; his portfolio includes diverse works spanning historical events, short stories, and biographies.

Insights into "The Black Hill":

Set against the backdrop of colonial times, Mamang Dai's "The Black Hill" narrates the saga of a couple from rival tribes who embark on a journey of love. Inspired by the mysterious disappearance of Father Nicolas Krick, a French Jesuit priest in the 1950s, the novel explores themes of love, sacrifice, and societal constraints.

Kendra Sahitya Akademi Prize: Bangali Nanda's Triumph:

Bangali Nanda, a seasoned writer and educator from Rayagada district, clinched the prestigious Kendra Sahitya Akademi Prize for his translation prowess. His Odia translation of Nelluri Keshavaswamy’s Telugu short story collection, "Nelluri Keshavaswamyanka Shrestha Galpa," garnered widespread acclaim. Nanda's contribution to literature extends beyond translation, encompassing a rich repertoire of original works.

Nepali and Manipuri Writers Shine in Translation:

Jiwan Bantawa and Nabakumar Nongmeikapam, Nepali and Manipuri authors respectively, were honored for their translations of Odia short story collections. Bantawa's rendition of Sanjukta Mohanty’s "Itihasara Chinna Prusthae" and Nongmeikapam's translation of Akhil Mohan Patnaik’s "O Andha Gali" exemplify cross-cultural literary endeavors. Additionally, translations of works by Gopinanth Mohanty and Gourahari Das into Maithili and Hindi were also acknowledged.

Sahitya Akademi Awards: A Tribute to Literary Brilliance:

The Sahitya Akademi Award, a revered accolade instituted by the Union government in 1954, remains a pinnacle of literary recognition in India. This prestigious award, spanning 24 languages including English, celebrates exemplary literary contributions. The Translation Prize underscores the vital role of translation in fostering cultural exchange and preserving India's diverse literary heritage.

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