HA NOI — Young writer Di Li published her memoir Nhat Ky Mua Ha (Summer Diary) in traditional print and online e-book versions yesterday.
Published by the Literature Publishing House and Phuong Dong Communications and Culture Joint Stock Co, with Vinapo Online Services Joint Stock Co for the online version, the book consists of 51 stories about Li's childhood in Ha Noi. Some of the stories originated as blog posts in 2008, but positive feedback inspired her to compile them into a book.
"I want to preserve the memories, which are fading over time, in all the pages of this book," Li said. "This is not only for readers but for myself."
A contemporary of Li's, writer Nguyen Xuan Thuy said: "Summer Diary is like a slice of life of the people who were born after 1975."
The stories, spanning Li's life from elementary school to university, are arranged chronologically but told in a spontaneous manner, said Ha Noi Writers Association chairman Pham Xuan Nguyen.
"Readers get to know a headstrong girl who never says she's sorry to her mum; the first love of a fifth-grader for her idol; and her problems as a would-be writer in describing a banana tree," Nguyen said. "I think that these are not just the unforgettable moments of the writer but also memories of people."
Di Li, whose real name is Nguyen Dieu Linh, teaches English and American literature and culture at the Ha Noi College of Commerce and Tourism.
To celebrate the publication of her Summer Diary, publishers Phuong Dong and Vinapo are launching a writing contest aimed at finding potential writers as well as preserving the memories of people at schools and developing a reading culture among young people.
Entrants of all ages and nationalities can send unpublished stories in Vietnamese of no more than 4,000 words in length via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries must be received before June 1, 2012. More information could be found at www.nhatkymuaha.com. —VNS