Writers, poets, translator win 2016 literature awards

January 16, 2017 - 06:00

The Việt Nam Literature Association presented the 2016 Literature Award to seven writers, poets, writers and a translator at the Việt Nam Literature Museum last Saturday.

Way with words: The Việt Nam Literature Association presented its 2016 Literature Award to seven people including poets, novelists, critics and a translator. – Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Seven writers, poets and a translator have won Viet Nam Literature Association Awards for the year 2016.

The awards were presented last Saturday at the Việt Nam Literature Museum.

The seven award-winning works included: a short story collection Làn Gió Chảy Qua (Breeze Flowing By) by Lê Minh Khuê; a novel, Mưa Đỏ (Red Rain) by Chu Lai; an anthology of poems entitled Tổ Quốc Nhìn Từ Biển (Homeland From the Sea) by Nguyễn Việt Chiến; and another entitled Vũ Khúc Tày (Tày Dances) written in Vietnamese and the Tày ethnic minority language by poet Y Phương.

The other award winners were non-fiction works: Giọt Nước Trong Lá Sen (Water Droplet in Lotus Leaf) by Khuất Bình Nguyên and Nữ Quyền Luận ở Pháp và Tiểu Thuyết Nữ Việt Nam Đương Đại (Women’s Rights Discussion in France and Contemporary Vietnamese Female Novelists) by Trần Huyền Sâm; and Nguyễn Chí Hoan’s translation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.

A total of 174 literary works were nominated for the award this year, including 66 poems, 78 works of prose, 19 reviews and 11 translations. The winning works provided different perspectives on contemporary issues in the country.

The creativity of award winners has contributed to the diversity of modern Vietnamese literature, said poet and vice chairman of  the Việt Nam Literature Association Nguyễn Quang Thiều.

While Nguyễn Việt Chiến’s poems were themed around the seas and islands in the country, Y Phương focused on traditional culture in a modern world, he said.

Lê Minh Khuê’s work conveyed humane messages while Chu Lai wrote of war in his poems. Both works both touched on contemporary problems in the country. The works of the two poets, Y Phương and Nguyễn Việt Chiến, covered different themes in different styles and deserved the award, said Chairman of Việt Nam Literature Association, poet Hữu Thỉnh.

Khuê’s work Breeze Flowing By was “perfect.” offering a fresh perspective to her work and of history, Thỉnh said.

The novel Red Rain by Chu Lai looks back at the war fought in Quảng Trị Province through the eyes of a soldier in the post-war period. Therefore, the work relates the truths, but does not re-evaluate the war and, instead, demonstrates the price of war, apart from bringing together soldiers of both sides, said Thiều.

He also said that this year, an award was given for the first time for a purely critical work, discussing the expression of women’s rights in Việt Nam’s contemporary novels. This is one of the few works that focuses entirely on women’s rights, he added.

The jury highly valued the translation of Wolf Hall by Nguyễn Chí Hoan. The novel suggests a new way of writing in the historical novel genre and presents interesting facts in world history, as well as the culture and customs of Europe during the Medieval period.

All of these aspects were well-expressed in the Vietnamese language by Hoan, said Thiều.

The Việt Nam Literature Association also admitted 29 new members, including writers, poets and translators from across Việt Nam and abroad. The authors admitted this year are those who have proven their talent and commitment through notable works, said poet Trần Đăng Khoa, the association’s vice chairman. — VNS