Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”

(VOVworld) – What has made Tran Mai Hanh’s non-fiction book “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”, a success? VOV looks at public and critical reaction to this book. 

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 1
The book’s cover shows Vietnam News Agency reporter Tran Mai Hanh (with glasses) and fellow reporters at the entrance to Saigon in the early morning of April 30, 1975.
(Photo: Van Bao/VNA)

In 2014, the publishing house National Politics – The Truth released “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”, a work of non-fiction which covers the last 4 months of the war, the historic fall in 1975 of the Saigon regime, and the fates of most of the regime’s leaders. The book has been reprinted several times and recently reached the public in an English language version. 

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 2
Poet Huu Thinh, President of the Vietnam Writers’ Association, said: “The power of the truth is undeniable and stands the test of time. The truth unveiled in ‘A War Account 1-2-3-4.75’ is as precious as a diamond”.  (Photo: Ha Phuong)

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 3
Vietnam News Agency battlefield journalist Tran Mai Hanh in his youth and a letter certifying Hanh as VNA’s special correspondent covering key military units.

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 4
Hanh’s “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” on display inside a bookstore on Nguyen Van Binh street, Ho Chi Minh city.

In March, 2015, the book was republished with 150 additional pages of original source material Hanh has preserved.

In 2014, “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” won the literary prize of the Vietnam Writers' Association. In 2015 it won the prestigious Southeast Asian Writers Award in Thailand. 

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 5
Tran Mai Hanh gives a speech at the award ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 14, 2015.

At the Southeast Asian Writers Awards, Hanh summarized his book, which received glowing reviews from foreign critics. 

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 6
Hanh held talks with Thai readers at the Southeast Asian Writers Awards.

The book has been widely praised for its literary, historical, and journalistic value. It contains classified documents of the US government and the US-backed Saigon government from that period.

In April, 2014, Hanh’s “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” was published in English. 

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 7
Translated versions of “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” and drafts of the translation.

The Vietnam Writers’ Association decided to publish an English language version of “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75” to give readers all over the world a better understanding of the Vietnamese people’s aspiration for national liberation and peace. This is the first book the Vietnam Writers’ Association has ever translated and printed domestically. 

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 8
Tran Mai Hanh and editors of the National Politics – The Truth publishing house.

Veteran journalist Tran Mai Hanh and his novel “A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”  - ảnh 9
Tran Mai Hanh and Nguyen Kim Nga, chief editor of foreign books for the National Politics – The Truth publishing house.



In this interview, Hanh said when the English language version of his book was released: “I’m not tied to any of my subjective opinions. The fact that you won the war doesn’t mean that you can write whatever you want. The truth is always right and I just tell the truth. I’ve never thought of the book being translated into English or winning a prize, even in my dreams. My book is a collection of true stories from numerous sources. Imagine it as a point that becomes clearer as more and more lights shine onto it. I still have some reference materials typed in 1975 and 1976 on pelure paper, whose color has faded with time. ‘A War Account 1-2-3-4.75’ was a combination of my own effort and a certain amount of luck.”

“A War Account 1-2-3-4.75”, which relies on original and reliable materials, some written by the other side (the Saigon regime and the US government), shows the undeniable righteousness of Vietnam’s fight for independence. 

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