Thai Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn recently bestowed the South East Asian Writers Awards on Nguyen Nhat Anh, 55, for his children's book entitled Cho toi xin mot ve di tuoi tho (Give me a ticket back to childhood).
The book, which juxtaposes childhood memories with adult realities, has won critical acclaim from local writers and critics. It received an award from the Vietnamese Writers' Association in 2009 and was the best-selling book at the 5th HCMC book fair.
Over 15,000 copies sold out in just 10 days.
The S.E.A. Writers Awards was introduced in 1979 by the Thai Royal Family. The awards are given to a writer from each member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Since 1996, the award has honored 14 Vietnamese authors, including three poets and 11 writers.
Nguyen Nhat Anh is the first Vietnamese children's author to win the award and one of the few local writers to break into a market dominated by Japanese and Korean comics.
Anh's other works continue to sell well at home even though many of his books debuted more than 20 years ago.
The retired teacher is also a poet and a sports writer at Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper. His latest work, chronicles strange occurrences in a Vietnamese village, told from the perspective of a 13-year-old boy.
The book is set to release next month.