N. SAOMAI was born in 1940 in Quang Ngai, grew up in Saigon, Dalat, and Nhatrang, started his writing in the early sixties, contributed miscellaneous essays and general journalism to Saigon-based daily newspapers as a freelance writer. He began to write novel in 1962, and completed four novels (written in the period from 1962 to 1975), which remained unpublished during the Viet-Nam war. 'Can Nha', a novel having got past the military government's censors of the press, been ready to be published in 1974, was published 23 years later in the US. He left Viet Nam on April 29th 1975, one day before the fall of Saigon on April 30 via a Chinook piloted by his brother, escaped Saigon for the sea and landed on the U.S.S. Duluth (LPD6) of the 7th Fleet which was then outside Vung Tau’s territorial waters, with his three motherless children. One of them later became Tap-chi Song-Van’s managing editor Thanh-Tam. He came to the US in May 1975, settled in Miami in June 1975. Can Nha, published periodically in Tap-chi Song-Van (ISSN 1089-8123), and in book form in December 1997, is his third novel. Several excerpts from the novel was later republished in the literary Van, and in the anthology Tho Van Hai Ngai Nam 2000. His second 'Bon no le trong den tho', written on the starting date of 1964, was also published periodically in Tap-chi SongVan, issue 15. This was the last issue before the discontinuity of the magazine in December 1999. One excerpt from his fourth novel ‘O cho cuoi con duong’ (1973) was published in Gio Van magazine. N. Saomai is the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of the magazines Tap-chi Song-Van [ISSN: 1089-8123], The Writers Post at http://www.thewriterspost.net [ISSN: 1527-5469]), and Wordbridge [ISSN: 1540-1723). As a founder and editor of the magazines aiming to introduce Vietnamese literature into Western literary community, he translated into English a number of short stories and poems by new and established Vietnamese poets and writers. The translation versions were published simultaneously in The Writers Post and Wordbridge.
CAN NHA - The House (a novel 456p. 22cm. Language: Vietnamese, US: 1997).
Xin cam on, cai chet hanh phuc (an excerpt from Bon no le trong den tho, Tap-chi Song-Van).
O cho cuoi con duong (an exceprt from his fourth novel, Gio-Van magazine, 2005)
· Translation: (published in TWP & Wordbridge)
Thanks, happy death - Xin cam on cai chat hanh phuc by Nguyen Sao Mai
Weigh anchor to run – Keo neo ma chay, story by Nguyen Thi Hoang Bac
Eva – Eva, story by Song Thao
Woman behind the billboard – Nguoi dan ba sau tam quang cao, story by Hoang Thi Bich Ti
The stirring red – Do Xao Xuyen, story by Le Thi Hue
Time of market – Phien cho, story by Kinh Duong Vuong
When the snow melts – Khi tuyet tan, story by Nguyen Thi Thanh Binh
The hamlet by the wood – Xom ven rung, story by Lam Chuong
This is not the first time –Hoang Ngoc Huong
Words –Nguyen Sao Mai
On my birthday – N.P
Taking a walk – Hoa Thi
The pray on the execution grounds – Luan Hoan
Eyes of the girl from Son Tay – Quang Dung
The conclusion – Nguyen Sao Mai
On the 30th day after my chlid’s birth – Thanh Ton
The path – Huy Tuong.
· Critique: On ‘Spring Essence: The Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong’ by John Balaban, Copper Canyon Press, 2000. ‘The translator should be able to penetrate the language barrier, that he could render in translation the original’. (Wordbridge, Double issue 3 & 4 - Winter 2003 - Spring 2004; Wordbridge, issue 5 – Autumn 2004).
· Featured in anthologies or other author’s books:
Tho van hai ngoai nam 2000 (Anthology. Canada: Viet Thuong, 2000)
Van Hoc Viet Nam The Ky 20- Mot so hien tuong va the loai by Nguyen Vy Khanh (California: Dai Nam, 2004)
Luan Hoan, mot doi tho.
Tac Gia Viet Nam / Vietnamese authors (US: Songvan, 2005)
· Unpublished works:
Bon no le (novel)
Bon no le trong den tho (novel)
O cho cuoi con duong (novel)
A place for the son of Man (a novel, from which the first chapter was taken to published in Wordbridge Premier Issue, Spring 2002).
The Writers Post
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