Vietnamese literature is going to be introduced to the world soon thanks to a new translation project launched by Charles Waugh, a writer, translator and associate professor of English at Utah State University USA. 19 books written by contemporary Vietnamese writers chosen for this project will bring more insight in how globalization affected the Vietnamese culture when the country opened.
Gio Le (The Gentle Breeze) by Nguyen Ngoc Tu, describing the difficulties to find a job in rural areas and big cities, Gang (The Well) by Di Li, talking about the brand-new culture in Vietnam: The golf culture, and Vet Thuong Thanh Thi (Wounds of the city) by Do Tien Thuy, talking about people and urbanization are some of the sample chosen.
The project mainly aims writers born after 1986, also known as “doi moi” (renewal ages) in Vietnam, having the knowledge and bright insights about Vietnam. Their books contained new high-value information about the country but were hardly known abroad until now due to the language barrier, according to Waugh. The idea came to him during his trip to Hanoi when he observed the constant changes of the city. Waugh wanted to show to the world, and especially to the US, how Vietnam and the country’s culture are doing well today. In Western countries, people usually know about Vietnam only through American books and films about the War. This time, the reader will be able to see a “new” Vietnam through the eyes of young and enthusiastic contemporary Vietnamese writers.