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Book festival attracts foreign names

Update: March, 17/2012 - 08:34

HCM CITY — HCM City's annual book festival will open on Monday at Le Van Tam Park in District 1.

Organised by the municipal People's Committee, it will feature 200,000 titles this year, including hundreds of new ones, that will be sold at discounts of up to 50 per cent at 500 stalls.


Novel co-written by mathematician released

One of the most highly anticipated publications at the HCM City annual book festival is a novel co-written by mathematician Ngo Bao Chau, the first Vietnamese researcher to receive the prestigious Field Medal in 2010, and his friend Nguyen Phuong Van, an active blogger.

The novel Ai va Ky o Xu So Nhung Con So Tang Hinh (Ai and Ky in the World of Invisible Figures), published by Nha Nam Culture and Communication Company in conjunction with the The Gioi Publishers, features a story about Ai and Ky, two young boys, as they travel through a symbolic journey through humankind's mathematical development. Their journey includes interesting meetings with renowned mathematical figures such as Euclid of Alexandria, Diogenes of Sinope, Rene Descartes and Aesop.

"At first, we planned to write about the history of mathematics," Van said. "Then, our path twisted somehow. But the book is still what we set out for in the beginning: encouraging young people to broaden their knowledge, to be curious about the characters and their real lives, and their contributions to mankind."

Professor Ha Huy Khoai said the book was a "beautiful tale with golden sunlight over a sandy beach, a pure atmosphere of intelligence and human love, with paradoxes and plots as well".

"Reading the novel, we find that the world of figures is mysterious and romantic, just like the human world," he said.

"The book is so simple that anyone can read it, even people who don't know anything about maths like me," said poet Tran Dang Khoa. "Through a journey in a world of invisible figures, we understand part of maths' wonderful beauty."

Chau said he planned to write more about maths for young readers.

Writer Nguyen Phuong Van and artist Thai My Phuong, who created the illustrations for the book, will hold an autograph session at Nha Nam's festival book stall next Monday at 7pm. — VNS

The week-long event has attracted more than 160 international and Vietnamese publishers, distributors and other companies.

The major foreign names include Penguin, MacMillan, Cambridge, Pearson, Learning, and Oxford.

From Viet Nam, the HCM City General Publishing House, National Politics Publishing House, Tre (Youth) Publishing House, and Kim Dong Publishing House will be among those taking part.

Among the popular titles on display will be Nguyen Van Hau's Van Hoc Mien Nam Luc Tinh (Southern Literature), a collection of three books on the lives and works of talented writers in the region in the 19th and 20th centuries. One of Kim Dong's best-selling titles, Nguyen Nhat Anh's Kinh Van Hoa (Kaleidoscope), a novel for children published in 1995, has been reprinted and will be on display.

It tells the stories of a group of urban kids who discover the world and its people in different ways.

Kim Dong will also have books by famous writers of the 1930s and 1940s like Khai Hung, Nguyen Tuan and Nguyen Huy Tuong.

The HCM City Culture-Arts Publishing House, taking part for the first time, will have a series of books by young writers like Nguyen Ngoc Tu and Nguyen Ngoc Thuan.

Cultural researchers and authors, including Tran Van Khe, Bui Van Nam Son, Tran Dang Khoa and Nguyen Quang Lap, will take part in seminars and forums on reading held on the festival's sidelines.

HCM City-based Fahasa, a leading book distributor, will give away the award for the year's Best Book based on readers' votes next Friday.

Many books will be given away as gifts on the festival's closing day, March 25.

Entrance to the event will be free. — VNS

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