English version of “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” debuts

The English version of historical-document novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” by journalist-writer Tran Mai Hanh was officially introduced to readers at an event in Hanoi on April 27.

The event was co-organised by Radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV), the Vietnam Writers Association and the National Political Publishing House to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Liberation of Southern Vietnam and National Reunification (April 30).

Hanh once worked as VOV General Director, Vice President-cum-Secretary General of the Vietnam Journalists Association and reporter of the Vietnam News Agency during the historical Ho Chi Minh campaign.

His 500-page book has the literary, historical and press value with documents in original considered as top confidential at that time by the other side (the side of the Republic of Vietnam and the United States of America). 

The author has also quoted in the book the documents associated with the important event of the country in a precise and reliable manner. The book has recounted and depicted truthfully and lively the fall of the Sai Gon administration under Nguyen Van Thieu as its president in the last four months of the war, from January to the end of April of 1975.

Apart from the speech of Nguyen Van Thieu before his resignation, 20 remaining reference documents included in the annex are the top-secret documents in original on the war on the side of the Republic of Vietnam and the US. These are  documents dated over 40 years ago typed from the original documents collected at the study and residence of Nguyen Van Thieu, President of the Republic of Vietnam at the Presidential Palace and the study of General Cao Van Vien, General Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Vietnam at the headquarters of the General Staff of the Sai Gon army at noon and on the afternoon of April 30, 1975. The presentation, abbreviations and English sentences found somewhere in these documents have been kept intact as compared to the original documents. At the end of each chapter, the reliable sources of documents are cited by the author when writing that chapter.

The historical-document novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” has been evaluated and published by the National Political Publishing House in early April 2014. In two years the book consecutively won the prestigious awards at home and in the region: “The 2014 Literature Award” of the Vietnam Writers’ Association and “The 2015 Literature Award of the ASEAN countries”. In two years, the book has been republished for three times and in large quantity. At the ASEAN Literature Award presentation ceremony held in Bangkok, Thailand in December 2015, the speech at the award presentation ceremony and the presentation of writer Tran Mai Hanh at the ASEAN Literature Forum together with the summary of a number of chapters of “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” translated into English had the good feedback from countries. The Executive Board of the Vietnam Writers’ Association decided to have the novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” into English “to introduce and advertise the literary works on the war for the national defense and liberation and the aspiration for peace of the Vietnamese people” to the world’s readers.

The National Political Publishing House has organised the translation and editing of the book so as to be able to have the best possible English version of the novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” in order to send to English readers the faithful content and the literary quality of the novel in original. The book “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” of journalist-writer Tran Mai Hanh, translated by Manh Chuong and published by the National Political Publishing House, is the first awarded literary work of the Vietnam Writers’ Association that is translated into English to introduce to the world’s readers. The book is edited by the experienced foreign and Vietnamese English language experts of the translation company Metro Writers.

Translating into English the historical-document novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” to introduce to the world’s readers is of significance. Former US President Barack Obama once spoke in Hanoi on May 24, 2016 during his Vietnam visit that the war lessons will be the lessons for the whole world. Recently, according to the New York Times, senior advisor of US President Donald Trump Steve Banno proposed that the White House officials should read the book that analyzes the mistakes committed by the US that led to the war in Vietnam in the 20th century so as to recognise that the small mistakes could lead to a lot of serious consequences in the future.

Not any war that was brought to an end could be able to be decoded by a historical-document novel written in the “account” form on the basis of the original documents together with the reliable documents of the other side so as to recount and resurrect in a truthful way the fall that had happened in the war-end months. Thanks to it that the nature of justice – injustice; the triumph – the defeat could be described clearly and undeniably. Possibly “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” – the English Version is one of the rare books that could be able to do it.