The Gitanjali Literary Prize, the first-of-its-kind, Franco-Indian literary award, has been given to Tamil writer Poomani for his latest work Agngnaadi , and Haitian writer Lyonel Trouillot for his work La belle amour humaine .
While the Indian nominees are Malayalam writer T.K. Rama (for V Positive ), Hindi writer Manisha Kulshreshtra (for Shigat ), the French nominees are Cecile Oumhani (for L’atelier des streson ) and Khaled Osman (for Le caire a corps perdu ).
Addressing a press conference here, David Annoussamy, one of the Indian jury members, said Poomani’s work was selected from among the shortlisted works in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu.
The jury had a difficult task in picking the best because of the differences in language and the social milieu in which these works were written.
Giving a brief account of the Poomani’s work, Mr. Annoussamy said, “It is a novel of monumental work, which depicts the picture of a village and its surrounding places. The author has portrayed the sufferings of the villagers born as the result of religious, political and economic hegemony. The hero is not a person; he is a community itself. It’s an epic rather”.
Announcing the winner in the French literary category, Ananda Devi the French jury member, said Lyonel Trouillot’s work is set in a Haitian village and the theme is “deeply human”. It explores the identity of two people, one a Haitian and the other a stranger, she added.
Fariba Hachtroudi, Francophone writer of Indian origin and president of the Mohsen Hachtroudoi Foundation, said the intention behind launching the Gitanjali prize was to promote Indian literature in France and French language in India. By this, the foundation plans to bring people from various walks of life much closer, she added.
Another jury member Nalini J Thampi, Head of the Department of French, Pondicherry University, was present.
As a run-up to the final event on December 7, to be held at Hotel de Malabar here, an array of events has been lined up. The week long programme will see concerts, dance programmes, screening of films, documentaries, conferences and exhibitions at various places in the town.
Tamil writer Poomani and Haitian writer Lyonel Trouillot were the winners of this Franco-Indian award