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War Minutes wins 2014 prose prize

Update: January, 22/2015 - 10:15
HA NOI  (VNS) — Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh won the Viet Nam Writers' Association most important prize of the 2014 year, poet Huu Thinh, chairman of the association, confirmed yesterday.

Hanh's novel, Bien Ban Chien Tranh 1-2-3-4.75 (War Minutes January-April, 1975), released by the National Political Publishing House, won the highest prize in the prose category.

The non-fiction work covers the historic fall of the American-backed Sai Gon regime and the fates of most of its leaders.

The 19-chapter work is based on interviews with and confessions of figures in key positions in the Sai Gon regime. It depicts in detail the collapse of defence lines around Sai Gon by drawing on original telegraphs, meeting minutes of regime leaders, newspaper articles and Sai Gon radio broadcast between January and April of 1975.

Hanh was a journalist of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and was part of the agency's special mission to cover key military units that marched south to liberate Sai Gon in the spring of 1975. He now works as a senior advisor of the To Quoc online newspaper.

In an interview with Viet Nam News last year, when he launched the book, Hanh said he had been working on the novel for dozens of years.

"Time has not faded but instead highlighted further the Vietnamese people's great victory of spring 1975 under the wise guidance of the Party. I think I was lucky to witness the victory and get close access to original materials of the rival side so that I could sketch both a general and detailed picture of the US-backed regime's collapse," he noted.

Professors Phong Le and Nguyen Dang Diep won the highest prize in the association's theory-critic category.

Translator Dao Minh Hiep won the prize for literary translation with his Vietnamese edition of the novel, The Past Wars, by Chechen writer Kanta Ibragimov.

Poet Nguyen Thuy Kha won the poetry category for his Truong Ca - Kich Tho (Epic - Poetic Drama) collection.

At the announcement of the awards, the association said that it will consider adding more 50 eligible writers into the association later this year.

The association plans to host the second Asia-Pacific Poetry Festival in March. — VNS

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