Viet Thanh Nguyen biography

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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

Thanh Việt Nguyễn's novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Other honors include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, a Gold Medal in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association. His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction) and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America.

He is a University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He has been interviewed by Tavis Smiley, Charlie Rose, Seth Meyers, and Terry Gross, among many others. He is also the author of the bestselling short story collection, The Refugees. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, and le Prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book in France), for The Sympathizer. He is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and the editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives.

He is also the author of Chicken of the Sea, a children's book written in collaboration with his six-year-old son, Ellison. The Committed, the sequel to The Sympathizer was published in March 2021.

Viet Thanh Nguyen's website

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Interview

Author Thanh Việt Nguyễn's 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 Committed jacket 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.
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  • 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

  • Tash Aw

    Tash Aw

    Tash Aw was born in Taipei to Malaysian parents. He grew up in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Britain to attend university. He is the author of three critically acclaimed novels – The Harmony Silk Factory (2005), which ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Sympathizer

    Try:
    We, the Survivors
    by Tash Aw

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