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Young writers struggle to make mark in Viet Nam

Update: December, 28/2013 - 08:58
Prose: Nu Cuoi Chim Sat is a collection of stories by young writer Vo Thu Huong.

HCM CITY (VNS)— The life of a writer is difficult at the best of times, requiring discipline, dedication, passion and perseverance, as a number of talented young scribes have come to realise.

"Even though I'm young and energetic, I still face many challenges in my life and path as a writer," said young writer Vo Thu Huong, who just released her latest book in HCM City.

Her collection of stories, Nu Cuoi Chim Sat, published by the Kim Dong Publishing House, hit bookstores early this month, receiving attention from critics and the public.

"Young writers are often more limited in ability but they still spend time creating works targeting modern life, and I think they may be going the wrong way," said Huong in a recent interview with local media.

Nu Cuoi Chim Sat tells the stories of the American war, a serious topic that few young authors choose to write about.

It recounts the life of a former female member of the Saigon Special Task Force, which played an important and historic role in the national liberation movement.

Although the war ended before she was born, Huong still gives it a fresh perspective.

Some extracts of her work appeared first on an online reading forum, capturing the hearts of readers. And a few days later, the book became one of the most searched for books online.

"Passion and strength are the important things young writers need to improve," Phan Hoang, a member of the HCM City Writers Association, said, recalling his earlier period as a professional writer.

Hoang added that his association had organised creative camps aimed at young writers.

Another young writer, Tran Nguyen Minh, known as Minh Moon, said: "Young writers need to overcome hardships in daily life to maintain sufficient involvement in writing."

Her 168-page fictional book, Hat Hoa Binh, published by the Tre (Youth) Publishing House, came out in October and has garnered warm responses from readers.

Like Huong, Minh is keen on writing about war and history even though many people have told her these topics do not appeal to all readers.

In her mid-twenties, Minh said that becoming a professional writer was her goal.

Hat Hoa Binh was chosen as one of a group of books featured during a writing competition for young readers that began last year and will end in March by Tre Publishing House.

The director of Tre Publishing House, Nguyen Minh Nhut, said the company had introduced several new books created by young authors like Minh, including Vo Dieu Thanh, Truong Anh Quoc and Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh.

"We always want to publish literature by local authors, particularly young writers, more than translated books," he said.

According to Nhut, Tre and other publishing companies have organised several writing competitions for young authors and poets around the country.

"We received thousands of works in different forms, such as fiction, comics, poetry and plays, and some of them were of good quality," he said. —VNS


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