The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, compared by critics to the works of Graham Greene, Denis Johnson, and George Orwell,The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity, politics, and America, wrought in electric prose. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain, is a man of divided loyalties, a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent in America after the end of the Vietnam War. A powerful story of love and friendship, and a gripping espionage novel,The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
In these powerful stories, written over a period of twenty years and set in both Vietnam and America, Nguyen paints a vivid portrait of the experiences of people leading lives between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth.
All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. Exploring how this troubled memory works in Vietnam, the United States, Laos, Cambodia, and South Korea, the book deals specifically with the Vietnam War and also war in general. He reveals how war is a part of our identity, as individuals and as citizens of nations armed to the teeth. Venturing through literature, film, monuments, memorials, museums, and landscapes of the Vietnam War, he argues that an alternative to nationalism and war exists in art, created by artists who adhere to no nation but the imagination.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, himself a refugee, brings together a host of prominent refugee writers from around the world to explore and illuminate their experiences. Poignant and insightful, this collection of essays reveals moments of uncertainty, resilience int he face of trauma, and a reimagining of identity. The Displaced is a powerful look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge.
In Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America, Viet Nguyen argues that Asian American intellectuals have idealized Asian America, ignoring its saturation with capitalist practices. This idealization of Asian America means that Asian American intellectuals can neither grapple with their culture's ideological diversity nor recognize their own involvement with capitalist practices such as the selling of racial identity. Making his case through the example of literature, which remains a critical arena of cultural production for Asian Americans, Nguyen demonstrates that literature embodies the complexities, conflicts, and potential future options of Asian American culture.
Proposes a framework for transpacific studies that examines the flows of culture, capital, ideas, and labor across the Pacific. These flows involve Asia, the Americas, and the Pacific Islands. The introduction to the anthology by its editors, Janet Hoskins and Viet Thanh Nguyen, consider the advantages and limitations of models found in Asian studies, American studies, and Asian American studies for dealing with these flows. The editors argue that transpacific studies can draw from all three in order to provide a critical model for considering the geopolitical struggle over the Pacific, with its attendant possibilities for inequality and exploitation. "Transpacific studies" also sheds light on the cultural and political movements, artistic works, and ideas that have arisen to contest state, corporate, and military ambitions.
Selected Reviews of Professor Nguyen's Books and NPR Author Interviews with Him