New Press novel wins French Voices Award; André Schiffrin honored by French Embassy

Monday, April 14, 2014
French Voices Ceremony panelists (from L to R)
French Voices Ceremony panelists (from L to R): Esther Allen, translator, professor at Baruch College and founding member  of French Voices; Georges Borchardt, literary agent; Ellen Adler, New Press publisher; Olivier Cohen, founder and editorial director of Editions de l'Olivier; and moderator John R. MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper's Magazine

Julia Deck’s new novel Viviane—a stunning debut that made the author an instant sensation in France—was one of twelve recipients of the 2013 French Voices Award, presented by the French American Cultural Exchange and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. On February 6, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy held the French Voices Awards ceremony to honor the American publishers and translators selected for the prize. The ceremony also included a special homage to late New Press Founding Director André Schiffrin for his contributions to independent publishing. The ceremony included readings of French writers published by André in the United States over a publishing career that spanned half a century. Robert Harvey, a co-editor of the Pléiade edition of Marguerite Duras’s work, read from Duras’s La Douleur, published by The New Press as The War: A Memoir; Eric Banks, director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU, read from Michel Foucault’s Sexuality and Solitude; and Linda Coverdale read from 1914 by Jean Echenoz, which she recently translated for The New Press.

The readings were followed by a panel on independent publishing and translation featuring Ellen Adler (New Press publisher), Esther Allen (translator, professor at Baruch College and founding member of French Voices), Georges Borchardt (literary agent), and Olivier Cohen (founder and editorial director of Editions de l’Olivier). The panel, which discussed André’s legacy and influence along with the current state of book publishing in the United States and especially of publishing works in translation, was moderated by John R. MacArthur (president and publisher of Harper’s Magazine).

Congratulations to translator Melanie Mathner and to Archipelago Books, who took home the French Voices Grand Prize for the forthcoming novel Our Lady of the Nile.