|A scene from Mẹ Vắng Nhà (Home without Mom), a film based on Nguyễn Thi’s novel of the same title, produced by the Việt Nam Film Studio in 1979. The film won the Golden Lotus Award at the Việt Nam Film Festival in 1980. — Photo courtesy of the producer|
HCM CITY — Dozens of writers and critics participate today in a poem reading in memory of the late revolutionary writers Nguyễn Thi and Lê Anh Xuân at the HCM City Union of Literature and Arts Associations.
Musician and singer Hoàng Long, critic Ngô Thảo and female poets Trần Mai Hường and Trầm Hương read famous poems written by Thi and Xuân, both of them played a role in revolutionary literature.
Xuân’s Dáng Đứng Việt Nam (Posture of Việt Nam), a famous poem on Vietnamese liberation soldiers in the anti-American war, was read by his sister, Meritorious Artist Ca Lê Hồng. The work was turned into song by music professor Nguyễn Chí Vũ.
Talks on both writers were also conducted by their relatives and friends.
The event was part of the union’s cultural programmes to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mậu Thân Offensive in Spring 1968.
“We want to highlight the life and revolutionary career of Thi and Xuân, who devoted their life to the Mậu Thân Offensive,” said Trần Văn Tuấn, chairman of the HCM City Writers’Association.
Xuân, whose real name is Ca Lê Hiến, was born in Bến Tre Province’s Mỏ Cày District, in 1940.
He moved to the north with his family in 1954, and later studied history at Hà Nội University.
He began writing in 1960 and joined the liberation forces to fight in the southern provinces between 1964 and 1968.
He is well-known for many of his poems and essays that praise soldiers’ fighting spirit and his passion for the country and its people.
His diary about events experienced during the war was published by the Việt Nam Writers’ Publishing House in 2011.
The work was found in a writer’s backpack after he was killed in action in a suburban area of Sài Gòn, now HCM City, on May 24, 1968.
He received the State’s Prize for Literature and Arts, the highest prize of its kind in the country, in 2001.
Thi, whose real name is Nguyễn Hoàng Ca, was born in Nam Định Province in 1928. He joined the revolution when he was 17 years old.
He wrote many short stories, novels, poems and memoirs, most of which highlighted the Vietnamese people and soldiers in war.
His popular works, such as Người Mẹ Cầm Súng (The Mother Holds Gun) and Mẹ Vắng Nhà (Home without Mom), honouring the beauty and brave of Vietnamese women in war, have been adapted to film.
In 2000, he was awarded the Hồ Chí Minh Prize in Literature and Art.
Both Thi and Xuân received the titles “Hero of the People’s Armed Forces”. — VNS