Viet Thanh Nguyen biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen

How to pronounce Viet Thanh Nguyen: Viet Tang When - Pronunciations vary but the closet English is usually considered to be Nwen or When

Viet Thanh Nguyen Biography

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative, and the Chicago Tribune and he is the author of the academic book Race and Resistance. He teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

Viet Thanh Nguyen's website

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Interview

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses why he decided to set the record straight about the Vietnam war with his debut novel, The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Your family immigrated to America when you were four years old. Can you tell us about your parents, and how that experience shaped you?

My parents' story is atypical for many Americans, but very typical for many Vietnamese. They were born poor in a small village near where Ho Chi Minh was born in northern Vietnam, a region famous for producing hardcore revolutionaries and hardcore Catholics. My parents were the latter. When they were teenagers in 1954, the country was divided, and they chose to flee south as refugees. My mother's entire family went, but my father went by himself. He would not see any of his relatives again for forty years, until he and my mother returned in the 1990s. My parents settled into a small town called Ban Me Thuot and worked very hard to become successful merchants. When the communists invaded the south in 1975, this town was the first one they captured. My mother decided to flee with my eleven-year-old brother and four-year-old me. She left behind our adopted sixteen-year-old sister, believing that this was just another bad turn in the war and that we would be back. We walked several hundred kilometers to the beach town of Nha Trang, got on a boat, made it to Saigon, reunited with my father...

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Books by this Author

Books by Viet Thanh Nguyen at BookBrowse
The Refugees jacket The Sympathizer jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Viet Thanh Nguyen but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Julie  Yip-Williams

    Julie Yip-Williams

    Julie Yip-Williams died in March 2018 of colon cancer. She was born in Tam-Ky, Vietnam, just as the war was ending, grew up in Monterey Park, California, and graduated from Williams College and Harvard Law School. At her ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Refugees

    Try:
    The Unwinding of the Miracle
    by Julie Yip-Williams

  • Leila Aboulela

    Leila Aboulela

    Leila Aboulela won the first Caine Prize for African Writing and is the author of many novels. Minaret was longlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize. The Translator was one of The New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Refugees

    Try:
    Elsewhere Home
    by Leila Aboulela

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