Vietnam’s Bao Ninh, who is known at home and abroad as the author of the admired war novel The Sorrow of War, has won the only prize of the 2018 Asia Literature Award.
The award was handed during a ceremony in South Korea on Friday last week, Ninh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday.
Ninh, 66, was granted the award in recognition of his well-known novel The Sorrow of War, which tells a story of soldiers in the American war in Vietnam from the perspective of a soldier who is collecting bodies of his deceased fellows.
The novel, published in 1991, already earned the Vietnamese writer the 3rd Shim Hun Literary Prize that was also held in South Korea in 2016.
Ninh is also winner of the 2011 Asia Literature Award from the Nihon Keizai Shimbun in Japan and other honors.
The novelist told Tuoi Tre that he is happy with the latest award, adding that he was also pleased to see many other Vietnamese writers to be internationally recognized in recent times.
He was referring to poet Nguyen Quang Thieu, who got the South Korea’s Changwon KC International Literary 2018, writer Nguyen Ngoc Tu with the Liberaturpreis 2018 in Germany, and Mai Van Phan with the Cikada award of Sweden in 2017.
The Sorrow of War won the Vietnam Writers’ Association Award in 1991.
|Cover of Korean translation of The Sorrow of War|
Since publication, the novel has been translated into many different languages and published in around 20 countries.
In South Korea, The Sorrow of War was first available a long time ago, but the book was at that time translated from English to Korean while originally the piece was written in Vietnamese.
It was not until 2012 that the novel was translated from Vietnamese to Korean by Ha Jae Hong, and published by Asia Publishing.
Asian Literature Award was conducted as a part of the 2018 Asian Literature Festival, which ran from November 6 to 9 in the southwest city of Gwangju. Twelve South Korean authors and 11 other from ten countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, and Mongolia, participated in the event.
This year marked the second edition for both the festival and award, which are held in order to encourage interaction and cooperation among Asian countries as well as promotion of cultures.