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Suspending a short story collection of young writer Nguyen Vinh Nguyen because of its obscene content

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 The HCM City Department of Information and Communications has suspended a short story collection by young writer Nguyen Vinh Nguyen for its obscene content.




The book cover.


Nguyen’s “Looking at the crowd below,” with 13 short stories, was published in April by Phuong Nam Book Company and the Writers’ Association Publishing House.

The department also imposed VND7.5 million (US$370) of fine on Phuong Nam Book for publishing the book. 

The decision was announced on November 2 and the book will be revoked within 10 days. The department said Phuong Nam Book could petition the penalty within 90 days but the petition “would not affect the suspension.”

The book will be removed from the shelves because it “spreads obscene lifestyle which is contrary to Vietnam’s customs and habit,” according to the decision of the HCM City Department of Information and Communications, signed by chief inspector Tran Thi Ngoc Huong.

Writer Nguyen Vinh Nguyen said it was necessary to have a professional board to judge his book. Without a prestige board, other books will be victims of injustice, he added.

Writer Ta Duy Anh, who edited the book, said: “I think this is a healthy book. There is no problem with its content. It is groundless to say that the book is obscene. This book is even worthy for receiving the Vietnamese Writers’ Association Award.”

He said that the Vietnamese Writers’ Association Award will meet with writers and critics in Hanoi on November 8 to evaluate the book before raising its voice over the case. “We must make it clear, otherwise nobody dares to publish books,” Ta Duy Anh said.

Critic Pham Xuan Nguyen questioned that this book was published in April and since then the book had not been criticized for obscene context, so what are the grounds for the HCM City Department of Information and Communications to withdraw it from the shelves?


Writer Nguyen Vinh Nguyen.

Poet Nguyen Huu Minh said that the book writes a lot about sex but sex is a normal act of human being, like eating and sleeping, so it does not break customs and habits.

Some other writers said Nguyen’s book is quite creative and worthy to read. Some others said it is a little blue but the book is not obscene to be suspended.

Recently, “Hitman with a wounded, swollen head” which was published last month by Nha Nam Books Company and illustrated by artist Thanh Phong, has also been removed from shelves because of its abuse of slang. This is a difficult task since the books have come to many readers.

However, many readers said that such cases only make readers to be more curious and flock to buy these books.
Source VNE

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