Ms. Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Ms. Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai was born in 1973 in Ninh Bình but grew up in Bạc Liêu province. She received an Australia Awards scholarship in 1993 and graduated in 1996 as the top student from Monash University’s Bachelor of Business Administration course (majoring in communications). Upon her return to Vietnam, Quế Mai worked for several international organisations, including UN agencies, to foster her homeland’s sustainable development.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai for web

In 2007, Ms. Quế Mai set up the ‘Making Dreams Come True’ volunteer group to assist more than 3,000 children with cancer living in the northern Vietnam. She manages and is currently Chairperson of the Advisory Board of this highly active voluntary group.

For her professional work, Ms. Quế Mai has been honoured with many awards, including the Hanoi International Women’s Club Female Vision Award (2010) and the Australian Alumni Award for Sustainable Social Development in 2008.

In 2006, Ms. Quế Mai returned to her childhood dream of being a writer. She is now the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. She has been honored with the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Hà Nội Writers Association, the Capital’s Literature & Arts Award, First Prize - the Poetry Competition About 1,000 Years Hà Nội, as well as many international grants and fellowships. The Los Angeles Review of Books, in their review of Ms. Quế Mai’s The Secret of Hoa Sen calls her 'one of Vietnam's foremost contemporary poets.'

Thanks to her education in Australia, as well as her subsequent Masters and PhD in Creative Writing, Ms. Quế Mai has become the first Vietnamese citizen whose novel in English is published internationally, to wide critical acclaim. Publishers Weekly, described Quế Mai’s novel, THE MOUNTAINS SING, as “a brilliant, unsparing love letter to Vietnam that will move readers”.

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