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Vietnamese Author Nguyen Ngoc Tu Wins German Literary Award for Female Writers

Vietnamese writers are slowly gaining more recognition on the international stage.

As VnExpress reports, a German translation of the short story collection Canh Dong Bat TanThe Endless Field in English and Endlose Felder in German – by Vietnamese writer Nguyen Ngoc Tu has clinched the German Literaturpreis 2018 award. Nguyen Ngoc Tu is one of the most prominent writers in Vietnam’s contemporary literature thanks to her distinctive style of prose that makes extensive use of the Mekong Delta dialect.

Canh Dong Bat Tan is widely considered Tu’s magnum opus for its harrowing, ultra-realistic portrayal of life in the delta through the eyes of a young girl. It reveals shocking narratives and issues that are not commonly associated with the bucolic image of the Mekong Delta, such as prostitution, abuse and rape. It was translated into German by Gunter Giesenfeld and Marianne Ngo.

Tu’s book beat out eight other contenders, all works by international female authors, to claim the award. The voting was carried out by Litprom, a Frankfurt-based nonprofit which seeks to promote literature from Africa, Asia and Latin America to German readers.

With the award, Tu also won 3,000 euros from the Frankfurt Book Fair, as well as an additional 6,000 euros from other sponsors to conduct a future writing workshop for female writers in Vietnam. The news source didn’t provide details on the project, however.

Tu is expected to be in Germany from October 9 to 14 to receive the award along with the two translators. She will also conduct a reading of the book at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

Literaturpreis has been around for 30 years with the aim to honor works by female writers from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

[Photos via Wordpress user Ho Huy Son (left) and Big Dream (right)]

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