|Music to his ears: Russian writer Mikhail Samarsky, 17, listens to Duong Ngoc Trinh, a student of the Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind. — VNS Photo First News Book
HCM CITY (VNS) — An exchange between Mikhail Samarsky and visually-impaired students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu Blind School on Friday was the first of several activities of the 17-year-old Russian writer during his first visit to Viet Nam.
After a briefing with local media, Samarsky, who became popular among Vietnamese youth for his novel A Rainbow for a Friend was translated into Vietnamese, rushed to a school in HCM City's District 10 to meet students and donate gifts.
He said that his novels had been translated into many languages and that Viet Nam was the first Asian country do so.
During his visit to HCM City, Samarsky plans to donate six Braille-display computers to outstanding visually-impaired youth.
Samarsky, after meeting a blind person in a Russian park, when he was very young, made the decision to help the visually impaired.
He wrote his first book about Trison, a guide dog for the blind, which depicts the dog's bravery, loyalty and devotion toward his owners.
During an exchange in HCM City with the book's author, Nguyen Thanh Vinh, who is blind, remarked that Samarsky understood the feelings of blind people.
Before an official exchange with readers at the HCM City Youth Cultural House, at 8pm on January 2, to be aired live on HCM City Television, the writer will visit the Audiobook Library, First News bookstore, Phuong Nam bookstore and several other places in the city.
Samarsky became involved in charitable activities in 2010, when he founded an informal programme called Living Hearts.
With the help of his friends and acquaintances, he published audiobooks and Braille-font books, and bought equipment for blind children.
Nguyen Van Phuoc, director of First News Book Company, said he had translated Samarsky's Hat Giong Tam Hon (Seeds of the Soul) book series, which introduces some of Viet Nam's most outstanding figures, including Professor Tran Van Khe, teacher Nguyen Ngoc Ky who has no hands, and Truong Thi Hong Tam, who lives with HIV.
Thee company plans to also publish books about outstanding Russian people.
Born to a father who is a playwright, scriptwriter and poet, and a mother who authors detective novels, Samarsky, currently a student at the Department of Political Science at Moscow State University, began writing when he was 12 years old with his debut novella "On a Teetering Board Between the Hills." — VNS