Saturday, August 15 2020


Hà Nội writer wins Lifetime Literature Award

Update: December, 20/2018 - 09:00
Writer Nguyễn Xuân Khánh and the cover of one of his works. — Photo courtesy of the Việt Nam Writers’ Association
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Writer Nguyễn Xuân Khánh from Hà Nội has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Literary Award for his contribution to the literature in Việt Nam.

At a meeting of the Executive Board of the Hà Nội Writers’ Association – which is also the final judgment board for the Việt Nam Literature Award – on Monday, a vote showed total support for the decision to present the writer with the award.

Born in 1933 in Hà Nội, Khánh is the author of popular short stories and novels including Rừng sâu (Deep forest), Miền hoang tưởng (Paranormal), Hồ Quý Ly, Hai đứa trẻ và con chó Mèo xóm núi (Two children and a dog in mountain village), Đội Gạo Lên Chùa (Bring Rice to the Pagoda), Mưa quê (Countryside Rain), Mẫu thượng ngàn (Mountain Goddess) and Chuyện ngõ nghèo (Poor Alley’s Tale).

His work on the founder of the Hồ dynasty Hồ Quý Ly (1336-1407), published in 2000, and Mẫu thượng ngàn published in 2006 have been reprinted many times due to their precious historical and cultural insights.

Khánh won two awards from the Hà Nội Writers Association in 2001 and 2006. His novel Đội Gạo Lên Chùa won the association’s top prize in 2011.

Đội Gạo Lên Chùa was published in 2011 by the Women’s Publishing House and created a stir in the local literary scene. The novel was highly acclaimed by not only literary critics but also the wider reading public.

The novel, which sold out its initial print run and was reprinted two more times over three months, has also won acclaim for explaining the origins of Buddhism in Việt Nam.

Khanh once told online newspaper vietnamnet that he drew on many of his personal experiences to write the novel.

The novel highlights the role of Buddhism in tough times, especially during Việt Nam’s struggle for independence.

Also at the meeting, with seven out of eight votes, the Translation Literary Prize for 2018 was awarded to Extinction, a novel by Thomas Bernhard from Austria translated into Vietnamese as Diệt Vong by Hoàng Đăng Lãnh.

The Executive Committee of the Hà Nội Writers’ Association said this year it did not award prizes to any work of poetry, analysis or criticism. It did not award a poetry prize last year either. — VNS

The cover of Đội Gạo Lên Chùa (Bring Rice to the Pagoda), a novel by Nguyễn Xuân Khánh which won the Hà Nội Writers Association’s top prize in 2011. — Photo courtesy of the writer

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