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Literature icon releases book comprising selected stories

Nguyen Huy Thiep, one of the most influential Vietnamese contemporary writers, has released a special publication to mark his 70th birthday.

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Writer Nguyen Huy Thiep is one among most influential author of the country. Photo zingnews.vn

The book comprises 42 short stories throughout his career, many of which have been translated into English and published abroad such as The Winds of Hua Tat, The Salt of the Jungle, Sharp Sword and Fired Gold.

His short stories are inspired by fairy tales, historical events and legends. They are illustrated by 17 famous artists including Thanh Chuong, Le Thiet Cuong, Dao Hai Phong, Phan Cam Thuong, Hoang Phuong Vy and Lena Sjoberg (Sweeden).

Thiep was born in 1950 in Hanoi. He published the first short story, Tướng Về Hưu (The General Retires), in 1987.

Thiep received France Awards Order of Arts and Letters in 2007 and Italy’s Premio Nonino Literature Award in 2008.

Thiep has said he feels lucky to have been born at the right time.

“Writing is a normal job like others, but it has no shape. It’s close to religion and politics. Using language, it finds the way to enlightenment and meaning of the life,” he said.

Thiep suffered a stroke early this year and was treated at home. Receiving the newly-printed book, he said he felt happy.

“It’s a beautiful book, it’s a valuable and precious book,” he told Dong A Company.

Painter Le Thiet Cuong said all the artists are close friends of Thiep. It’s not a collection of illustrations but the way they feel and sympathise with Thiep’s stories.

“Thiep is a special writer who loves fine arts, that’s why he has many friends who are painters,” said Cuong.

“The book becomes a memory between us. It’s a rendezvous of paintings and writings.”

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An illustration by Lena Sjoberg from Sweden for the story Don’t Cry in California.  

The 560-page book is available at bookstores from VND450,000. Apart from 1,000 normal copies, Dong A Company published 500 handcrafted copies and 105 special copies with his autograph.  VNS

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