The Paris Writers Press has received an award from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication through the National Book Center, to fund the translation of La Traversée du livre, a memoir written by the iconic French publisher Jean-Jacques Pauvert (1926 – 2014). The new English translation An Odyssey in Books, is scheduled to be available by December 2015. Éditions Viviane Hamy published the original French version in 2004.
In his prize-winning memoir La Traversée du livre (An Odyssey in Books), Jean-Jacques Pauvert recounts in vivid detail, his meteoric rise to the top of the French book world, which started 1942 in the mailroom of Gallimard publishers. By the tender age of twenty, he openly published the banned works of the Marquis de Sade leading to a protracted legal struggle with the French authorities. A similar firestorm erupted when he published Histoire D’O (The Story of O) in 1954, a daring work by Pauline Reage, a pseudonym used by Dominique Aury. His other authors included Gide, Sartre, Bataille, Genet, Beauvoir and Breton.
Pauvert’s memoir also describes his being arrested and jailed for three months by the Nazis for his role as a courier with the Resistance.
An Odyssey in Books is a captivating story of a young man figuring out how to be a publisher as he went along and an invaluable social history of art, literature, politics, and Parisian life from World War II to the May 1968 revolution.
The winner of the 2005 Elle Magazine Reader’s Grand Prize, the new English edition, An Odyssey in Books, was translated by Lynn Jeffress.
The National Book Center or Centre National du Livre (CNL) provides grants for translations of high quality French literature. Since 2001, the National Book Center has supported more than 6,400 projects for translation from French into foreign languages.
In 2014, approximately 600,000 Euros were allocated for translations. The CNL funds from forty to sixty percent of translation costs. The Paris Writers Press will receive sixty percent, the maximum allocation.
The Paris Writers Press, founded by Mary Duncan in 2011, is a small independent press committed to publishing books, which focus on lingering social and political issues. PWP publishes literary fiction, non-fiction, memoirs and French translations that relate to France.