Poet Hữu Thỉnh (middle) and award winning authors at the award ceremony held in Hà Nội on Tuesday. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Writers Association has presented awards to eight literature works as the best pieces of 2019.
Poet Hữu Thỉnh, chairman of the association, said on Tuesday the jury was extremely impressed with the works this year, especially the short story collection Quán Thủy Thần (Shop under the name of God of Water) by Nguyễn Hải Yến (from Hải Dương) and a journal collection titled Trụ Lại (Staying Here) by Hồ Duy Lệ (from Đà Nẵng), which won special prizes.
“Anyone reading Trụ Lại will discover a museum of literature with valuable materials on the brave people and revolutionary land of Quảng Nam – Đà Nẵng,” Hữu Thỉnh said.
“I remember reading a book by famed writers, in which they forecast that the 21st century is the century of documentary literature, journals or chronicle pieces.
“That’s why the association gave an award to Hồ Duy Lệ’s journal as a literature work. If you read this piece, you will remember it. I think it’s necessary for anyone to understand the Vietnamese people and country, and to those who want to understand national tradition and values of the present,” he said.
Mentioning the short story collection by Nguyễn Hải Yến, Thỉnh said this was a fresh discovery for the association this year.
“Though this is only Yến’s second book, her contributions to Vietnamese literature are not small,” he said. “There have been many pieces on land reforms, on cracks (disputes) in society, but no writers have mentioned the process to fix the cracks, to heal social ‘injuries’.”
“Yến explored the issue in a short story collection. She has bridged the gap between yin and yang, life – death, temporality – eternity, loss – win, bringing one’s heart to others’ world,” he said. “I found this kind of ideology before Yến, from no one else but great poet Nguyễn Du."
Nguyễn Du (1766-1820) wrote The Tale of Kiều, in which he cried for the pains of people living around him; but his Văn Tế Thập Loại Chúng Sinh (Funeral Oration for Dead) is a cry for all dead people.
“Our great poet did not only cry for people living around him but also showed grief for them when they passed away to another world," he said. ”Of course Yến is not Nguyễn Du, but I think this female writer has followed Nguyễn Du’s tradition to bridge the gap between yin and yang, between limited and unlimited.
“I highly appreciate an innovation by a teacher at a secondary school,” he said.
Thỉnh said there were 20 entries submitted to the jury, much more than the previous year.
“All of the entries are of high quality, but the jury considered only three authors according to the regulation,” he said.
The association on this occasion added 56 new members.
Here is the list of this year’s prizes:
Special prize: Trụ Lại journal collection by Hồ Duy Lệ; Quán Thủy Thần short story by Nguyễn Hải Yến
Poetry: Bay Trong Mơ (Flying in Dreams) by Trần Quang Đạo and Nguồn (The Root) by Trần Quang Quý
Theory –Critiques: Defining and Explaining Literature Phenomena by Phan Trọng Thưởng; Vietnamese Literature Characteristics by Lý Hoài Thu; Ideology and Style of Writers: Theory and Reality by Trần Đăng Suyền. — VNS