Writer Nguyễn Xuân Khánh at the launch of Đội Gạo Lên Chùa. Photo Nguyễn Đình Toán
HÀ NỘI - Award-winning writer Nguyễn Xuân Khánh passed away due to natural causes at his home on Saturday in Hà Nội. He was 88 years old.
Khánh was popular for a series of novels on Vietnamese culture and history including Hồ Quý Ly; Mẫu Thượng Ngàn (Mountain Goddess) and Đội Gạo Lên Chùa (Bring Rice to the Pagoda).
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 historical and cultural insights.
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, also won acclaim for explaining the origins of Buddhism in Việt Nam.
His works earned him the Việt Nam Writers' Association Award in 2000 and in 2011 and the Hà Nội Writers Association in 2011.
Born in Hà Nội, Khánh studied medicine at Hà Nội Medical University. He joined the military in 1952. He began to write in 1957. He worked at the Văn Nghệ Quân Đội (Military Literature and Arts) magazine and Tiền Phong (Avant-garde) newspaper before retirement in 1983.
He wrote his latest novel Chuyện Ngõ Nghèo (Poor Alley's Tale) in 2016.
He also translated many works including Nathalie Sarraute's The Golden Fruits and Jules Verne's Five Weeks in a Balloon. VNS