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Nguyen Phan Que Mai biography

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Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Nguyen Phan Que Mai

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Nguyen Phan Que Mai Biography

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (family name Nguyễn Phan, given name Quế Mai) was born in a small village in the North of Việt Nam in 1973, Quế Mai migrated with her family to the Mekong Delta, South of Việt Nam when she was six years old. Thanks to her academic achievements, in 1993, Quế Mai received a scholarship from the Australian government to study in Australia for four years. Upon her return to Việt Nam, Quế Mai worked for several international organizations, including UN agencies, to foster Việt Nam's sustainable development. She has a Masters in Creative Writing with the UK's Lancaster University and is a Honorary Fellow in Writing of Hong Kong Baptist University.

Quế Mai has been honored with the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Hà Nội Writers Association, the Capital's Literature & Arts Award, First Prize, the Poetry Competition About 1,000 Years Hà Nội, as well as the Việt Nam Writers Association's Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advancement of Vietnamese Literature Overseas.

Quế Mai currently lives in Jakarta, Indonesia with her husband and two children. She has been running weekly creative writing workshops for Afghan refugees at the Roshan Learning Center.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai's website

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Interview

An essay by Nguyê ̃n Phan Quê ́ Mai on Climbing Many Mountains, a novel which took her seven years to wite.

In 1983, when I was ten years old, I went secretly to the post office in my hometown to mail a letter to Hà Nội. The letter contained my entry for a writing competition. When a notice arrived announcing that I had won a prize, my parents were shocked. Due to the long history of Vietnamese writers' experiences in my country, my parents reminded me of their wish that their only daughter would not become a writer.

I had to put aside my dreams of writing to do a variety of jobs to earn a living and help support my family. But the writer in me always listened to other people, always asked questions about their experiences during the war, and memorized their stories. In my teenage years, I began to travel to my parents' villages to talk with our elder relatives and family friends so I could imagine how life had been for my grandparents, who had either died or been killed before I was born. Gradually, the more I began to understand Việt Nam's painful past, the more people shared with me the events of their lives.

Unbeknownst to me, at that young age I was already carrying out the research for The Mountains Sing. It was only with time and distance and my ongoing academic research that I could comprehend the complexity ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Nguyen Phan Que Mai at BookBrowse
The Mountains Sing jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Nguyen Phan Que Mai but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Violet Kupersmith

    Violet Kupersmith

    Born in 1989, Violet Kupersmith graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2011 and then spent a year in Vietnam on a Fulbright teaching fellowship. She is currently at work on a novel. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Mountains Sing

    Try:
    The Frangipani Hotel
    by Violet Kupersmith

  • Vincent Lam

    Vincent Lam

    Dr. Vincent Lam was born in London, Ontario. His family emigrated from Vietnam during the Vietnam War and he grew up in Ottawa speaking Cantonese at home.  He did his medical training in Toronto, where he now lives... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Mountains Sing

    Try:
    The Headmaster's Wager
    by Vincent Lam

We recommend 3 similar authors

View all 3 Readalikes

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