On the occasion, Quyen granted an interview to the Thoi Nay (Present Times) publication of Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper to discuss her achievements in writing and how writing has helped her overcome the stressful period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Question: You have continuously released books and stories in recent years. What is your inspiration for writing?
Author Quyen Gavoye: Actually, writing is a way for me to pay homage to the motherland. I left the motherland 20 years ago. During the first years living abroad, I focussed on building a new life in the host country, so the nostalgia seemed to be restrained and replaced by youth’s dreams.
However, as I’ve grown older, and especially since becoming a mother, I’ve clearly felt the air of nostalgia. That’s one of the reasons why I write and I find it to be a way to turn my heart towards the motherland.
Another reason that encourages my writing probably comes from my migration story. I have kept telling people that migrants work very hard, even three times harder than others, in order to establish their position in the new society. And now, I bring that habit into my writing work.
What can your current job facilitate your writing?
I’m currently working as a heritage and culture expert in the city of Besançon. My work mainly focuses on youth culture, particularly libraries and projects related to cultural education in and out of schools. I also participate in activities to promote culture, history and heritage through projects in coordination with educational agencies.
My job provides me with the opportunity to interact with young people, who give me ideas and motivation to write. Through my writing, I want to promote the culture of Vietnam to the French people and bring France closer to the Vietnamese people.
Quyen Gavoye was named among the winners of the De Men (Cricket) Awards 2022
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has had remarkable impact on people’s lives, travel, and communication. However, it seems that you have shown great enthusiasm with boosted writing productivity during this period. Is it true?
Like many others, I used to live a busy life before the COVID-19 pandemic happened. However, everything suddenly changed completely when the world was hit by COVID-19. France and Europe experienced more than two months of absolute blockade. A lot of people who were not prepared for the new reality fell into depression.
To be honest, I was very confused at the beginning, but then I realised that this was an opportunity for us to slow down and rethink everything. I gathered my thoughts and wrote them down.
Thanks to writing, I have made it through the crisis in an enjoyable way. I want to share with everyone the little joys of overcoming the stress caused by the pandemic.
Thank you so much for your sharing!