Thursday, 10/11/2022 10:59

Acclaimed writer Lê Lựu dies aged 81

Writer Lê Lựu has passed away, aged 81. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Veteran writer Lê Lựu, author of many acclaimed novels in Vietnamese literature, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 81 after prolonged illness.

He was born on December 12, 1942 in Tân Châu Commune, Khoái Châu District in the northern province of Hưng Yên and has been a member of the Vietnam Writers Association since 1974.

In the early years of his career, Lựu wrote many compositions such as the short story Người Cầm Súng (Gun Holder, 1970) and the novel Mở Rừng (Opening the Forest, 1976) which are considered classics of Việt Nam’s war literature.

The trio of novels that affirmed his position in the national literary scene were Thời Xa Vắng (Time Away, 1986), Chuyện Làng Cuội (The Story of Cuội Village, 1991) and Sóng Ở Đáy Sông (Waves at the Bottom of the River, 1994). He won the second prize of Văn Nghệ (Literature and Arts) Newspaper in 1968 for the short story Người Cầm Súng and a prize from the Vietnam Writers Association in 1990 for the novel Thời Xa Vắng.

He used to work as editor, head of the prose department, secretary of the editorial office of Văn Nghệ Quân Đội (Military Arts) magazine and director of the Vietnam Business Culture Centre.

Two of Lựu's acclaimed novels, Sóng Ở Đáy Sông (Waves at the Bottom of the River) and Thời Xa Vắng (Time Away) — Photo courtesy of Sbooks

The chairman of Vietnam Writers Association, poet Nguyễn Quang Thiều, said Lựu is the author of many breakthrough works in Vietnamese literature.

According to him, Thời Xa Vắng is a great work with the message that people are only true people when they can live as themselves, not by other people's values.

“With the novel, Lựu brought a new change to Vietnamese literature in the 1980s. The thought conveyed in the work created a turning point in Vietnamese literature from 1954,” the poet wrote on his Facebook page.

The chairman of the Vietnam Writers Association added that Lựu was the first Vietnamese writer to come to the US in the post-war period. He was the first Vietnamese peace envoy and a particularly influential writer in diplomatic relations. Together with other Vietnamese and American veteran writers, he called on the US Government to break the embargo and normalise relations with Việt Nam

“Lựu created characters that will live forever with Vietnamese readers like Giang Minh Sài in Thời Xa Vắng. He himself is also a special character of Vietnamese literature,” said Thiều. VNS

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