National Book Awards 2020 in spotlight

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(VOVWORLD) - 27 prizes were given at the 2020 National Book Awards held at the Voice of Vietnam in Hanoi earlier this month. The annual awards honor writers, translators, scientists and publishers nationwide and seek to promote good books to readers. 
National Book Awards 2020 in spotlight - ảnh 1 Winners of First Prizes at the 2020 National Book Awards. 

Doan Binh Tay Tien (Advancing Westward Regiment) by poet Quang Dung was among three books that have won first prizes at the 2020 National Book Awards. It was written in 1952 and published for the first time by Kim Dong Publishing House in 2019.

The book has just 124 pages but provides a detailed account of the early days of the regiment of the Vietnam People's Army called Tay Tien during its westward advance in the resistance war against the French. The jury lauded the book for its authentic literary and historical education values.

"The award, which is a great joy for my family, has been welcomed by generations of readers nationwide. Through the book, which serves as a historical witness, readers have learned about the existence of the Doan Binh Tay Tien 70 years ago. The National Book Awards give the book a formal acknowledgement," said Bui Phuong Thao, poet Quang Dung's daughter. 

The two other first prize winners were Lich su (Histories) by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, translated from English by Le Dinh Chi, and another about a medical treatment titled Hinh anh lam sang, Chan doan va Dieu tri trong Chuyen nganh Da lieu (Clinical Image, Diagnosis and Treatment in Dermatology) by different authors led by Dr. Nguyen Van Thuong.

Second prizes went to 10 works featuring politics, environment, information technology and culture. Luoc Khao Van Hoc (Literature Review) - a series of research about the pre-1975 southern culture by Professor Nguyen Van Trung was recognised as a very valuable work among the second prize winners. 

National Book Awards 2020 in spotlight - ảnh 2First Prize winning books at the 2020 National Book Awards. 

According to Associate Professor, Dr. Tran Duc Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences and a member of the jury board, publishers have invested more in both content and design this year.

"This year's entries on social science and humanities are mostly technical books with richer materials, reflecting modern approaches and methods in research by the authors to ensure their works’ theoretical and practical values," said Cuong.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the third National Book Awards attracted 48 publishing houses nationwide with more than 360 books with different topics. Writer Nguyen Quang Thieu, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Writers’ Association, said: "This award acknowledges the value of the books and helps promote them among readers. As a national award, it requires a thoughtful nomination as well as thorough appraisal from the jury board. The award promises to become a national trademark." 

National Book Awards 2020 in spotlight - ảnh 3Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the 2020 National Book Awards ceremony in Hanoi. 

Speaking at the awarding ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the National Book Awards were expected to contribute to promoting reading culture.

"It’s important to encourage people to read to improve their knowledge and nurture their souls. The awards have motivated writers, editors, publishers, and printing and distribution companies to keep creating good books.  We need more similar activities to promote reading culture among Vietnamese, which is also the task of the publishing industry, the entire political system and society," said Mr. Dam.  

The organizers plan to digitize the winning books while encouraging publishers to do the same to promote high quality books to both domestic and foreign readers.