Authors release second book about Spratly navy soldiers

Update: December, 16/2019 - 09:34


Mắt Trùng Khơi (The Eyes of the Sea) has been published after the success of the first volume Nơi Đầu Sóng (The Wavefront).  

HÀ NỘI — A book featuring stories and photos about Vietnamese navy soldiers on the Trường Sa (Spratly) Islands has been published recently in Hà Nội.

Entitled Mắt Trùng Khơi (The Eyes of the Sea), the book was published after the success of the first volume Nơi Đầu Sóng (The Wavefront) by the same authors – poet and journalist Lữ Mai and photographer Trần Thành, who have visited the Spratly Islands several times. The second volume is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of National Defence Day (22/12/1989 - 22/12/2019), and the 75th anniversary of the Vietnamese People's Army (22/12/1944 - 22/12/2019).

The 150-page book features 18 stories and dozens of photos centred on the people whose lives are attached to the islands. Those people are not only the navy soldiers, but also their family members.  

In the book’s foreword, the authors said: “In any visit to the islands, the dearest thing which is also the most sacred, is the glint in human eyes. There is the teary eyes that we saw on the quay as the ships left the island, the dazed eyes of fresh and young soldiers when they first put their foot on the islands, the nostalgic eyes of the ones who have completed their mission on the islands and leave for home...


A photo depicted in the book 'Mắt Trùng Khơi' (The Eyes of the Sea).

“Alongside the human eyes, there are the ‘eyes of the sky’ and ‘eyes of the sea’ that are always open to protect the sea territory. Those are radar, sea lights and sea patrol ships...”

An exhibition named after the book has opened at the National Library, offering the public the chance to enjoy more than 30 selected photos by photographer Thành, who captured all the images during his eight visits to the islands. As its name, the photos focus on the depiction of the eyes of different objects, from the ones of navy soldiers to their family members who come to visit them on the islands, from the islands’ junior residents to sea creatures. Military radar, sea light and navy ships, which have been considered “the eyes of the sky” and “the eyes of the sea”, respectively, have also been depicted in Thành’s photos.

According to the photographer, he has a special passion in capturing eyes from different angles and moods.


A photo by photographer Trần Thành depicting a tearful mother waving to her navy soldier son. 

“Even when a person doesn’t express his feelings through his actions, it’s hard to hide his feeling in his eyes. All the human feeling can be seen through their eyes – happiness, joy, sadness, reflectiveness, or torment,” he said.

Alongside the release of the Mắt Trùng Khơi, the Literature Publishing House, in collaboration with the book’s authors, has launched the project titled ‘Homeland’s Sea and Islands Bookshelf’. Therefore, hundreds copies of Mắt Trùng Khơi and Nơi Đầu Sóng will be given to navy soldiers and people living on the islands.

According to author Mai, part of the book's proceeds will also be donated to charity events dedicated to navy soldiers and their families. — VNS