"A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the Vietnam War that have preceded it, this novel offe... Full description
"A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the Vietnam War that have preceded it, this novel offers an important and unfamiliar new perspective on the war: that of a conflicted communist sympathizer. It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. Viet Thanh Nguyen's astonishing novel takes us inside the mind of this double agent, a man whose lofty ideals necessitate his betrayal of the people closest to him. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today."--From publisher's website.
371 pages ; 24 cm
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Ban Me Thuot, Viet Nam. In 1975, he came to the United States as a refugee with his family. He received degrees in English and ethnic studies from the University of California Berkeley. After receiving a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley, he began teaching at the University of Southern California and has been there ever since. He is an associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity.
He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America and Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. The novel The Sympathizer won the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction, and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His latsest novel is The Refugees. He co-edited Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field with Janet Hoskins.