Events of Organisations other than the Alpine Club



Here is detail of an award for the Andy Cave French translation of "Learning to Breathe". One of the only two authors ever awarded a prize at this international mountain book fair. And two AC members!!

This year’s “Grand Prix du Salon du Livre de Montagne de Passy” was won by the French translation by Eric Vola of Andy Cave’s book “Learning to Breathe” titled “L’ombre et la lumière”. This is a truly amazing achievement given the stiff competition this year from very well known authors in France. In particular one of the contestants was a biography of Patrick Edlinger, a charismatic figure for French climbers. If Andy Cave is famous in the UK, in France very few know of him. But his account of life in the mines and his poignant tales of his Changaband ascent clearly enthused the jury.

The translation was also a remarkable feat given the use of mining terminology and a vocabulary which enlivens the tale by its authenticity but renders translation very delicate. The equivalent mining dialect would have been “Chti”, still used in Northern France in mining communities but which would have been lost on the rest of the French population.

How did this French translation come about? An imaginative publisher, Paul-Erik Mondron of Nevicata, a talented translator, our AC member Eric Volal, encouraged by Chris Bonnington who when asked by the pair which book he would recommend to translate pointed to it, and a gripping tale.

The duo Mondron/Vola seems to be forming a winning team: 2 years ago another book translated by Eric Vola and published by Paul-Erik Mondron won the second prize at the Passy international book fair. This time the author was Chris Bonnington and the French title of this collection of mountain tales was “Les horizons lointains”. In the 23 year history of the Passy bookfair these Bonnington and Cave were the only English authors ever awarded a prize!






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