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Book about armed forces wins first prize at 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 National Book Awards 2020.

Doan Binh Tay Tien was written in 1952 and published for the first time by Kim Dong Publishing House in 2019. It has just 124 pages but provides a detailed account of the early days of the establishment of a 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 two other books that won first prizes were Lich su (Histories) by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, translated from English by Le Dinh Chi, and another about 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 come to 10 works featuring issues of different areas including 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 very valuable work among the second prize winners.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications and Chairman of the Vietnam Publishers' Association Hoang Vinh Bao said the research book with its remarkable literary and historical value had made a great contribution to helping researchers and literature-lovers understand more about progressive literature in the period before 1975 when the country was not united.

The awards were announced at a ceremony held on Friday night at the headquarters of Vietnam's national radio station Voice of Vietnam.

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

He said that books are the "greatest schools" of society.

"If Vietnam wants to become a powerful country like many others from the five continents, we should have a society of study and reading books," he said.

The Deputy PM highlighted the role of books in humanity’s great advances and lauded the development of reading culture in the country.

He stated that the awards have motivated writers, editors, publishers, and printing and distribution companies to keep creating good books.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic, the third National Book Awards attracted the participation of 48 publishing houses nationwide with 259 titles, covering many areas of social development.

A total of 27 awards were given to winning books including three first prizes, 10 seconds, and 14 thirds.

The annual National Book Awards were hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications and organised by the Vietnam Publishers’ Association and the National Book Prize Council.

The awards aim to honour writers, translators, scientists and publishers nationwide as well as discover, preserve and promote books that are valuable to readers.

They are also expected to stimulate the publishing field.

The awards are presented in different fields such as politics, economics, environment, healthcare, science and technology, culture, literature, arts and children.

Organisers said the awards attracted the involvement of society, receiving much support from enterprises and sponsors and were broadcast widely via various media outlets./