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Women writers take centre stage

Young women writers are suddenly in the limelight after breaking a number of best-selling records.

Phan Y Yen’s latest book, Em La De Yeu (You Are for Love), is a collection of 29 short stories featuring women and love.

Released this year, the book was reprinted 10 times, a record.

Women writers take centre stage
Women writers take centre stage

The HCM City Literature Publishing House, one of the region’s prestigious printers, was not sure that the book would be successful but they knew that readers, particularly urban women, wanted it.

They printed another collection of short stories by Yen, Tinh Yeu La Khong Ai Muon Bo Di (You Can’t Refuse Love) last year, which also earned a profit.

More than 50,000 people read the book, which was released online.

For the last three years, the 29-year-old Yen has released six books and all were among the market’s best-selling books.

According to a report from two book-selling websites, Tikiweb and Vinabook, books by female writers, including Yen, Hamlet Truong and Gao, have all been best-sellers this year.

“Female writers add something new to a market dominated by traditional writing styles. Young readers, particularly women, found themselves on the pages of their books,” said Ha Hoai Thu, 26, a fan of Yen.

In 2011, the 23-year-old Dieu Nhu Trang became a phenomenon in the market after her book, Thien Su 99 (Cupid 99), was adapted for a film.

Her book is a fantasy love story about a cupid and an ordinary girl who believe love is a game but are finally forced to do some rethinking.

The private HCM City-based film company Phuoc Sang Film got together an ensemble of hot music and modeling stars for Thien Su 99, as the icing on the cake for young audiences.

The producer also invited Trang to join in writing the screenplay.

The film collected more than VND15 billion (US$721,000) in its first three weeks after being released during Tet (Lunar New Year) of 2012.

Trang wrote her first screenplay for Thu 3 Hoc Tro (Games at School) which was shown as a 33-part TV series on Viet Nam Television’s VTV3.

It was woven around the life of urban high-school students, earning top ratings.

Ha Anh Thu, 34, who was a singer before taking up writing, has a very different approach, drawing heavily from her experiences in daily as well as artistic life.

She has written the screenplay for dozens of movies and TV series.

Her work, Khi Yeu Dung Quay Dau Lai (Hard Love-Hard Life), is a romantic thriller that is simply about love and does not seek to preach.

Produced by Thien Ngan (Galaxy) Film Studio, Khi Yeu Dung Quay Dau Lai was a big hit during Tet in 2011 with collections of nearly VND13 billion.

In an interview with the media, Thu, a graduate of the Ha Noi Cinematography and Theatre University, said: “As a writer, I wish to portray life and love in a simple way. I believe young viewers will identify and learn valuable lessons from their own lives.”

Yen, Trang, Thu and other women writers are becoming popular with both readers and film producers.

Though critics pan some of the works by these young women as rip-offs of foreign books, many expect them to take the market by storm.