"Compared to earlier decades, now more and more students learn and speak French in school. More people are keen on joining Insitut Francais now, so the popularity for French literature is also growing here," Francois Richer said on sidelines of the recent launch of the French books section at Oxford Bookstore in Delhi.

"We have separate sections for Indian authors in French bookstores, but it was not vice-versa earlier, so we came up with this initiative to serve the French reading population here with what France has to offer and also what France enjoys reading about India," Richer said.

The Book Office of the Embassy of France in India also known as the Institut français en Inde and Oxford Bookstore have jointly conceived and realised the project to introduce the best of French literature to French readers in New Delhi.
    
Starting out with around 400 French titles, the French books collection includes handpicked works sourced from Librairie La Boucherie, a typical Parisian bookstore.

The endeavour brings together classic and contemporary French literature (fiction, non-fiction and children's books), titles from the latest rentrée littéraire or literary season (the period in France during which publishing houses release hundreds of much anticipated books) as well as the French translations of some of the most celebrated works of Indian authors like R K Narayan, Rabindranath Tagore, Anita Desai, Shobhaa De, Amit Chaudhuri among others on the shelves of Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place.

According to Richer, having French translations of some of the most celebrated works of Indian literature will be more popular in France as well as French people are also highly interested in Indian culture.
    
"We have also had authors in France who have been keen on writing on India as a subject. The French are also keen on reading Indian authors like Jeet Thayil and Anita Desai, so we have their French translations now in this collection," he said.

The newly launched French corner will not only have books in French but also traditional French film CDs which gives Indian audience an insight on French cinema, Richer said.

The collection of the books also includes Coffee table books and cook books offering recipes of sumptuous French cuisine. The initiative will also be helpful in strengthening Indo-French cultural ties, he said.
    
"I believe that literature has no cultural or linguistic boundaries. If you go to a bookstore in France you will find books on Indian by African Authors written in French..!" he said.

(Agencies)

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