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Vietnamese-Canadian Author Kim Thuy Among 4 Finalists for Nobel Prize Substitute

Vietnamese-born Canadian Kim Thuy joins the ranks of Vietnamese diasporic writers like Thi Bui and Ocean Vuong who are getting recognized by international literary awards.

According to CBC, Vietnamese-Canadian author Kim Thuy, who penned novels Ru, Man, and Vi was recently shortlisted for The New Prize in Literature, a one-time award initiated by The New Academy — a group of Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures formed to replace this year's Nobel Prize, which was canceled due to a sexual harassment scandal.

In July, The New Academy, which includes 126 members, invited Swedish librarians to nominate writers for the prize. Their nominations resulted in a long list of 47 highly acclaimed writers from around the world, including familiar names such as Margaret Atwood, Anne Carson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Paul Auster, Arundhati Roy, Joyce Carol Oates and J. K. Rowling. The public was then invited to vote for the top four between July 10 and August 14.

The final shortlist was recently announced and included British science fiction and fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, French writer and scholar Maryse Condé, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami and Kim Thuy. A jury of experts will assess the final four authors and decide on the winner, whose name will be announced on October 12.

"I see them as cultural icons — veteran writers — while I'm just at the beginning of this adventure," Thuy said to Canadian press upon hearing the news.

In May, the Nobel Prize for Literature was canceled due to a rape charge against Jean-Claude Arnault, a French photographer, author and member of Nobel Prize for Literature's voting body, and a resultant debate questioned the prize's patriarchal nature. A group of 126 members of Swedish arts of cultures community later formed The New Academy to initiate The New Prize in Literature.

"In a time when human values are increasingly being called into question, literature becomes the counterforce of oppression and a code of silence. It is now more important than ever that the world's greatest literary prize should be awarded," The New Academy wrote on their website.

[Photo via Ledevoir]

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