Monday, February 16, 2009

Nuon Pichsoudeny, Cambodia’s Youngest Writer

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

Noun Pichsoudeny, 18, is one of the University of Cambodia’s Samdech Techo Hun Sen “Vision 100”scholarship students and has spent time to provide an interview to the Cambodia Weekly on February 11.

The youngest novel writer in Cambodia was born in 1989 in Pailin and has one sister and one brother. She is now studying Economics at the University of Cambodia (UC).

Pichsoudeny is well-known as the youngest student writer in the Kingdom of Cambodia after her four novels were published and bought by many readers. The books continue to be sold at book shops throughout the country.

“I have read Khmer novels, short stories and magazines since I was 7 years old. I have probably read over three 300 books so far,” she said.

Pichsoudeny continued that from 2006 until 2008, she had written a total of six novels four of which have been published and a further two novels awaiting publication.

“I was able to write novels and other short stories since grade six at Primary School in Pailin because I learned by basic skills from veteran Khmer writers,” she said, her smiles indicative of happy reading memories.

The young writer said the four novels published include Star Rises at Noon, My Island My Love, The Heart Competition, and The Love Shade near Rancor Fire. They are all sentimental love stories with a didactic theme for a readership of older youths and adults.

The books were published by Banteay Srei Publishers, a private publishing company in Phnom Penh and are available from the usual outlets, according to Pichsoudeny.

“I became a qualified writer in 2006 upon publication of my first title The Star Rises at Noon. I intend to write more novels for publication to encourage more readers and promote literary awareness in Cambodia,” she added.

Her two unpublished books include Nisai Phka Tep (The Angel Flower’s Fate) and Lbaeng Chet Lbech Apia Pipia (The Heart Gambling, the Wedding Trick). She said the two stories would be available soon.

She is also able to write poems for the Hun Sen Krong Tep Nimeth High School in Pailin. She is now a Member of the Khmer Writers’ Association and she has been working with Amara Publishing.

Referring to her studies, Pichsoudeny said she studied at the Hun Sen Krong Tep Nimeth High School in Pailin, earning a Baccalaureate in 2008.

Pichsoudeny said that she applied to study economics at the University of Cambodia following the introduction of the Samdech Techo Hun Sen “Vision 100”scholarship in 2008.

“I am now a novel writer but my dream is to be a banker and economist,” she said. “I am happy because I passed the scholarship exams. I will study hard to reach my Bachelor degree goal. I will then continue to study for Master’s and Doctoral degrees with the University of Cambodia,” she added.

Regarding her writings and publications, she will continue to write on different topics to promote literary education in Cambodia.

“My dreams have come true so far. Once I have achieved success in my career, I will then return to writing until I can no longer lift a pen,” she said. “If I have played a small part in increasing appreciation for Cambodia’s literary culture, then I will be content.”

Cheng Kuysieng, Senior Editor of Amara Publishers, founded in early January 2009, noted that Pichsoudeny is the youngest writer in the company.

“I started working with Pichsoudeny in 2008 and quickly noted her clever style and capacity for hard work,” she said during an interview with the Cambodia Weekly.

The Senior Editor said that despite her tender age, Pichsoudeny is capable of writing many additional novels and is a valuable human resource addition to the Khmer Writers’ Association and Amara Publishers.

Prum Thida Vattey, 19, a first year student of the National University of Management and personal friend to Pichsoudeny said that she appreciated Pichsoudeny’s literary skills.

“I have known Noun Pichsoudeny for two years when she was studying with me at Hun Sen Krong Tep Nimeth High School in Pailin. She is a brave young girl and very gentle and friendly,” she told the Cambodia Weekly.

Thida Vattey continued, “Pichsoudeny was the outstanding student in my class. I am very proud to know her. I hope that she will become a successful writer or economist for Cambodia. I wish her all success in future.”

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