The Hanoitimes - Two Vietnamese books “Nhung nga tu va cot den”(Crossroads and Lampposts) written by Tran Dan and “Nhung dua tre chet gia” (The Young Die Old) by Nguyen Binh Phuong have been chosen to be translated into English version.
Published in Vietnam in 2011, the book “Crossroads and Lampposts” has been awarded with the Hanoi Literature Association prize. It is widely considered a classic of contemporary Vietnamese literature. This novel is one of several written by the author during the 1960s, none of which have been previously published.
Crossroads and Lampposts written by Tran Dan.
The preface describes how the novel was written based on interviews with former soldiers of the French colonial regime who were imprisoned in Hanoi. Tran Dan was given permission to enter the prison in order to interview them, with the condition that he submit his draft manuscript to the police.
The Young Die Old written by Nguyen Binh Phuong was published in 1994 and reprinted in 2013. It is a novel about time – both temporal and eternal, a Márquezian meditation on the contradictions of life. This outstanding and idiosyncratic book confirms Nguyen Binh Phuong’s reputation as Vietnam’s master of magical realism.
Two books translation is part of the Mekong Translation project initiated by Mekong Review, a non-profit magazine specializing in literary works of countries in the Mekong River region.
Launched early this month, the non-profit project has to date received donations worth AUD$6,000 from readers for translating the two books. In addition, Mekong Translation is continuing to call for donations from now until July 6 on the website: www.kickstarter.com.
All the proceeds from the donations are used for translating and publishing books while all the profits from the book sales will be used to invest in the upcoming book translation project of Mekong Review. Minh Bui Jones, chief editor of Mekong Review, said the project has got the nod from authors.
After printing, the two books would be released via the magazine’s distribution channels in some countries around the world, adding that this is a good opportunity for international readers to gain a deeper insight into Vietnam’s culture and society.