The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai (Oneworld) has won the Blogger's Book Prize 2021.
This year's winner was announced on 31st March following an online campaign, public vote and judging process. A £1,000 prize will be split between the author and winning blogger Emily Powter-Robinson at Em’s Shelf Love, who championed The Mountains Sing.
First published in hardback on 20th August 2020, and published in paperback on 1st July 2021, the novel is a multi-generational story of the Trần family and their battle for survival, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, following young Hương and her grandmother, Trần Diệu Lan.
The book also becomes NB Magazine's 2021 Book of the Year and Powter-Robinson will be featured in an upcoming edition. The author said: "I am ecstatic and honoured The Mountains Sing has been awarded the Blogger’s Book Prize 2021. I would like to thank Emily Powter-Robinson for her fierce championship of my debut novel, my publisher Oneworld Publications, NB Magazine, the judges, everyone who voted, and everyone who has lent their valuable support to The Mountains Sing. This award is for women whose stories have been buried, forgotten, erased, whose voices have been brushed aside. May people around the world read each other more, empathise with each other's experiences so that together we can foster peace and build a better world for future generations."
Quế Mai will be using her £500 cash prize to buy books for children currently undergoing cancer treatment at hospitals in Vietnam. She said: “Since 2010, I have been working as a volunteer to assist these children wherever possible. I have helped set up several libraries in the hospitals and our volunteers are now running those libraries. I found that books can help ease their pain, help them escape their difficult situations temporarily so that their strength and hope can be renewed.”