Writer Phan Tu's diary Tu chien truong khu 5 (From the battlefield of Military Zone 5) featuring the true stories and documents about the battles in central Vietnam from 1962 to 1975 has been officially published.
The 2,500-page series, released by the Literature Publishing House, is divided into three volumes. The content was drawn from Tu's seven thousand pages of handwritten diaries and notes about the Vietnamese anti-American resistance war in Military Zone 5 the geographic area which comprises the central coastal provinces of Vietnam.
The notes were written in five languages and have since been translated into Vietnamese.
Tu was born in 1930 and lived all over the world. He became fluent in five languages and wrote in Lao, French, English, Russian and Vietnamese.
He was also a victim of Agent Orange and the chairman of the Da Nang Literature and Art Association.
After Tu passed away, in 1995, the unpublished documents were discovered and preserved by Dinh Thi Phuong Thao, his wife. In 2002, the Literature Publishing House released a massive, five volume series of the writer's life and works.
Colonel Le Anh Dung, vice chairman of Da Nang Writers' Association, said that in spite of having all the manuscripts, it still took a long time (from 2005 to 2010) to restore and revise the missing pieces. Phan Thi Minh, Phan Tu's elder sister who served as Vietnam's ambassador to Italy, also took part in translating the French portions of the work.
Dung said that the translators and editors tried their best to preserve Tu's unique literary style.
"But in some cases, the young translators didn't understand much about Tu and the period," said Dung. "Instead, they relied on the dictionary to clarify his shorthand."
According to some first readers, the book's quality is fairly good and Tu's familiar voice comes through.
Nguyen Van Cu, director of the Literature Publishing House said that the bookmakers couldn't help but admire Tu for his careful and professional arrangement of the notes.