HA NOI (VNS) — The first-ever private literature fund initiated by a Vietnamese writer was announced here on Tuesday, bearing the name of the Ha Noi-based writer Le Luu.
"The fund aims to encourage Vietnamese writers to focus on the two topics of businessmen/enterprises and farmers/agriculture in the doi moi (renovation) period [since 1986]," Luu was quoted as saying by The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports & Culture) daily.
Le Luu, 72, specialises in writing short stories and novels. His novel titled Thoi Xa Vang, meaning The Old Time, is considered one of the most distinguished Vietnamese literary works of the second half of the 20th century. The novel inspired film director Ho Quang Minh to make a movie in 2003, which won the Silver Kite Award of Viet Nam in 2004.
Luu is now the director of Businessmen's Culture Centre in Ha Noi and also the editor-in-chief of Businessmen's Culture Magazine.
Though he did not announce it, many people know that he has donated VND1 billion, or US$47,000, to the fund which is open to other contributors too.
At the announcement ceremony, businessman Ta Duc Quyet said that he had donated a 1,000-square-metre area of land in the northern province of Quang Ninh's Van Don District for writers to build a writing camp.
"Luu is not very rich but he is very kind-hearted," said poet Tran Dang Khoa. "His initiation of the fund should be highly appreciated."
Poet Bang Viet admitted that the fund was the first ever of its kind that bears the name of a living writer. The previous culture funds were in the names of deceased culture figures such as Phan Chu Trinh and Bui Xuan Phai.
"I was worried when Luu first told me about the idea," Viet said. "He is neither healthy nor wealthy enough to run the fund. But many other friends were willing to assist him in managing the fund."
Luu made it clear in the fund's rules that all relatives within five generations of the founder would not be able to get involved in managing the fund to maintain "transparency".
The fund will award its first prizes to writers on December 12 this year.
Luu will be the honorary Chairman and member of the fund's managing council. Writer Nguyen Tri Huan is the chairman of the fund's managing council, which will also include film director Dang Nhat Minh; military General and writer Huu Uoc; and poets Tran Dang Khoa and Bang Viet. Former minister of culture Tran Chien Thang will act as a consultant of the fund. — VNS