Started in 1990, the Publication Assistance Programme (PAP Tagore) has enabled over 25 000 titles by French language writers to be translated and published in 80 countries. These programmes have been a major tool for the development of the influence of French literature and thought around the globe. The provisions of this programme have benefited foreign publishers willing to add French-language writers in their catalogue via translation (or in certain cases local editions in French).

It supports all works (literature, children’s literature, graphic novels, social sciences and humanities, and scientific publications), excluding academic, technical, or practical books.

PAP Tagore

PAP Tagore, is a support programme for Indian publishers who wish to publish a French book translated into any Indian language including English.

  • The intrinsic quality of the book and its importance in terms of creative aspects and that of French thought;
  • Local publisher’s commitment in distributing and promoting the book;
  • Activity and participation of the local publisher in developing a long-term translation policy for publishing French writers.

There is no restriction in terms of the type of the works (literature, children’s literature, graphic novels, social sciences and humanities, academic and scientific publications) provided there is a readership in India.

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  • Funding of rights expenses or licence fee (assistance provided by Institut Français, an autonomous agency for cultural exchange under the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the French Book Office): from the centralized budget of Institut Français, payment of the rights expenses/ licence fee already negotiated between Indian and French publishers as advance payment or as per flat fee. In this case, the assistance allocated by Institut Français, on the suggestion of the Book Offices of the French Embassies abroad, is directly paid to the French publishers as a substitution to the payment made by the Indian publisher. Please note that these rights can’t be reimbursed to the Indian publisher but paid directly to the French Publisher.

A contract between Institut Français, Paris and an Indian publisher is then signed to regulate the modalities. This support must be mentioned in all printed copies of the book (as per the contract).

  • Assistance to publication (Local assistance): from the local budget of the French Book Office, payment of part of the book’s production, translation, and communication costs. In this case, the assistance allocated by the Book Office of the French Embassy in India is directly paid to the Indian publisher.

A contract between the French Institute in India and an Indian publisher is then signed to regulate the modalities. This support must be mentioned in all printed copies of the book (as per the contract).

This file, which will allow the funding agencies to assess the seriousness of the project and the quality of the book should contain the following documents:

  1. Recent catalogue along with the general profile of the company.
  2. Two information sheets on the book: identification form* and provisional budget* (income and expense should be of equal amount). The Book Office will provide these sheets.
  3. Contract of obtaining the rights* signed between the Indian publisher and the actual rights-holding publisher in France. No application will be considered without having this contract.
  4. V. of the translator (in French), short biography of 4-5 lines maximum specifying his/her French competency (education and experiences in translation/publication)*.
  5. The First 5 pages of the book already translated by the translator and submitted to the Book office with the application.
  6. Translation contract* signed between the Indian publishing house and the translator of the book.
  7. If needed, complementary press clippings on the book and a copy of the work in case the writer or the title is lesser-known.
  8. The soft file of the French book* to be sent to the booking office along with the application.
  9. Bank account details of the Indian publisher along with swift and related codes for national/international transfer.
  10. If the grant for rights fee is also requested, one signed soft copy of the agreement established by Institut Français, Paris, needs to be submitted by the Indian publisher. Only the French version has to be signed and submitted, the English translation is only for the comprehension of the publisher.

Dr. Christine Cornet
French Institute in India
Ideas and Book Office
2 A.P.J Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi 110 011

E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Two sessions every year:

1.      Only complete files received by the Book Office before 31st December 2020 will be considered.

2.      Only complete files received by the Book Office before DD MM 2021 will be considered.

The Book Office will get back to the applicant publisher within two months after each session.

  • Local assistance to publication: Decision of the Book Office.
  • Payments of the foreign language rights expenses: Final decision by Institut Français, on the advice of the Book Office.
  • A publishing house can send several files for each session.
  • For the payments of the licence fee, if a supplementary amount is due by the Indian publisher to the French publisher at a later stage (for reprint, supplementary edition, royalties…), it must be paid by the Indian publisher.
  • In case of substantial postponement of the publication of a title in India, the Book Office can interrupt its collaboration with the Indian publishing house till the title is brought out properly.
  • According to the practice in force since its inception, the books published in the Publication Assistance Programme should print on the book the assistance provided as per the contract.

Introduction to few French Books translated in the past

Chanson Douce by Leïla Slimani published in Bengali by Patra Bharati

Leila Slimani’s bestselling French novel “Chanson Douce” is inspired by the true events of the Krim Murders of New York City in 2012. When Myriam decides to return to work as a lawyer after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their son and daughter. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic Paris apartment, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, this book is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, motherhood, and madness. Trinanjan Chakraborty has brilliantly fused the palpable tension of the French novel with Bengali lucidity in his translation to deliver a thriller that will keep you hooked till the last page and make you second guess your ideas.

Hygiene and the Assassin by Amélie Nothomb published in Hindi by Rajpal and Sons

Amélie Nothomb is one of Europe’s most successful and controversial authors. She wrote Hygiene and the Assasin, her first published novel when she was only twenty-five, and it became an instant bestseller across Europe. Prétextat Tach, Nobel Prize winner and one of the world’s most renowned novelists, has two months to live. He has been in seclusion for years, refusing interviews and public appearances. But as news of his impending death becomes public, intrepid journalists from around the globe flock to his home in pursuit of an interview with the elusive author. One after the other they discover that, far from being the literary luminary they imagined, Tach has become an obese misogynist, a petulant bigot, an embittered, disgusting madman. The world’s most famous author turns out to be the worst misanthrope imaginable. But Nina, the final journalist, and the only female to interview Tach calls the celebrated author’s bluff and beats him at his own game. Her questions and the author’s biting responses fly in a triumph of brilliant repartee, and Tach is led to a definitive confrontation with his past, while Nina discovers that in love nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.

Nouvelle jeunesse by Nicolas Idier published in English by Yatra Books

This is the novel that New China has been waiting for— the China of underground music, poetry and art, thriving in the aftermath of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. Electric Nights in Beijing is set in the backdrop of the student protests at Tiananmen Square. It is the story of a young rockstar, Feng Lei, who grows up in the West and comes back to China to meet his father, one of the student protesters incarcerated in the aftermath of 1989. It is a shifting fresco of density and depth and a portrait of Beijing, the mysterious forbidden city, in the first decade of the 21st century. As skyscrapers spring up on the horizon and the metros dig immense subterranean tunnels, the young still dare to dream, looking up at the stars. They live a parallel life, rhythmic, fast, brutal, sometimes overwhelmingly joyous, and often incredibly sad. They are poets, rockstars, lovers. They are the ones who never sleep, who drink too much and run breathlessly down deserted sidewalks. Among them are Feng Lei, a loner who has returned to Beijing despite the scars of his past, and Sam, the prettiest girl in town, and Xiaopo, a Mao look-alike, who has become a cabbie. They must each run fearlessly and fast to escape their ghosts. French author and sinologist, Nicolas Idier, has spent many years in China, He knows and loves the country deeply and expresses this sensitively in a stunning novel that captivates the reader from the first page.

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelt out is a spark”

– Victor Hugo