Rana Dasgupta’s 'Delhi Capital' wins the first Émile Guimet Prize

On June 28, Delhi Capital by Rana Dasgupta was named the first winner of the Émile Guimet Prize. Delhi Capital by Rana Dasgupta was translated to French by Bernard Turle and published by Buchet Chastel. On June 28 Dasgupta's novel was the first winner of the Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature, presided over by Jean-Claude Carrière. The the aim of the museum to showcase Asian culture – especially literature - in all its artistic forms was fulfilled, in line with the commitment of its founder Emile Guimet.

For the jury president, Delhi Capital holds the keys to discovery and rediscovery: "A city you think you know, in a country you think you love, and all it takes is a book, that plays with reality and that which we call "stories" (true, in this case), so that what we know is revealed as unknown, and this city opens like a rare flower, that up until now we did not know or feel or see."

​​Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature

Emile Guimet, the founder of the National Museum of Asian Art, is often presented as a rich industrialist who loved travel and especially the history of religions. More misunderstood is his early commitment to education and his taste for the arts. The Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature pays tribute at once to both the mastermind of the Japanese Promenades, an indefatigable explorer and the lover of the Far Eastern civilisations. A gateway to Asia, the Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature brings stationary travellers the necessary experience that they lacked of the East!

How does one receive the reward?

The Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature rewards a novel or a story faithful to the wishes of the founder of the museum: to discover a multi-faceted Asia that is always surprising. Four main criteria characterise winners:

    - the laureate is imperatively a translation into French

    - the author belongs to the geographical area of ​​the collections that the museum preserves

    - the book appeared in France during the previous calendar year

    - the date of publication in the country of origin is less than 10 years

This set of criteria makes it possible to remain at the heart of contemporary Asian literary creation.

The 2017 selection of the Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature

From October 2016 to March 2017, the internal selection committee of the museum and associated staff, administrative staff, library staff, men and women, young and old, met and finally shortlisted the following:

Nana à l'aube, by Park Hyoung-su, South Korea, Publisher: Decrescenzo

L'échelle de Jacob, by Gong Ji-young, South Korea, Publisher: Picquier

Une famille à l'ancienne, by Chôn Myônggwan, South Korea, Publisher: Actes Sud

Celui qui revient, by Han Kang, South Korea, Publisher: Serpent to Plumes

Le Dit du Loriot, by Su Tong, China, Publisher: Threshold

Lala Pipo, by ideo Okuda, Japan, Publisher: Wombat

Delhi Capitale, by Rana Dasgupta, India, Publisher: Buchet Chastel

Le jardin des brumes du soir, by Tan Twen Eng, Malaysia, Publisher: Flammarion

For its first edition, the Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature had the pleasure of offering the presidency of the jury to the writer and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. He was assisted in his task of electing the first recipient of the award by:

  • Sophie Makariou, President of MNAAG
  • Valérie Vesque-Jeancard, general delegate of the RMN-GP
  • Emmanuel Lozerand, professor of Japanese language and literature, responsible for the Japan   collection with the editions of Belles Lettres
  • Danielle Elisseeff, Sinologist
  • Elisabeth Lesne, editor and literary host
  • Xavier Monthéard, editor and publisher at Monde Diplomatique
  • Hélène Salat, of Voyageurs du Monde bookstore

Original source: Guimet.fr