Imatge de l'autor

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Autor/a de The Sympathizer

16+ obres 6,066 Membres 237 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

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 mostra'n més 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. (Bowker Author Biography) mostra'n menys
Crèdit de la imatge: Photo by Webb Chappell found at Narrative Magazine


Obres de Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer (2015) 4,052 exemplars, 152 ressenyes
The Refugees (2017) 981 exemplars, 50 ressenyes
The Committed (2021) 472 exemplars, 20 ressenyes
Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (2016) 224 exemplars, 6 ressenyes
The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives (2018) — Editor — 160 exemplars, 4 ressenyes
A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial (2023) 100 exemplars, 2 ressenyes
Chicken of the Sea (2019) 13 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Simone (2024) 11 exemplars, 2 ressenyes
Nguyen Viet Thanh 1 exemplars
El simpatizante (2013) 1 exemplars
Black-Eyed Women 1 exemplars

Obres associades

Fight of the Century: Writers Reflect on 100 Years of Landmark ACLU Cases (2020) — Col·laborador — 189 exemplars, 4 ressenyes
Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process (2017) — Col·laborador — 141 exemplars, 4 ressenyes
It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art (2018) — Introducció — 75 exemplars, 1 ressenya
Go Home! (2018) — Pròleg — 56 exemplars
One World Two: A Second Global Anthology of Short Stories (2016) — Col·laborador — 19 exemplars
How Do I Explain This to My Kids? Parenting in the Age of Trump (2017) — Col·laborador — 14 exemplars


Coneixement comú



This memoir tells the story of Viet Thanh Nguyen's escape from Vietnam at the age of four with his brother and parents to America™ as he writes it. And then what follows is a rage at the racism, the eradication of their previous lives and the effect this has on him.

Written in a fragmentary form with text justified on both sides of the page and sometimes laid out as poetry, the dominant themes are circled around again and again. Racism, the American Dream, colanisation and colonisers, being seen as Asian not Vietnamese, war and how all of this has shaped him.

There is an indepth exploration of the use of film to rewrite history, particularly for war films - Apocalypse Now, Green Berets. All watched and uncomfortable in some way. This is how America rewrites history.

Eventually you realise that Green Berets is a work of propaganda so spectacular and atrocious that only the Third Reich or Hollywood could have made it.

As VTN becomes a father and takes on a new role, his understanding of his parents becomes clearer. They may not have said 'I love you', but their actions, their working long hours in the shop, providing a 'good' education for their children, all were about protecting and providing - symbols of love. And then, in later years, saying the words. So here is a new role, fatherhood, that helps him to find his voice.

The title comes from the opening line in The Sympathizer,

I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces.

I wonder how many refugees see themselves as having two faces - their place of birth and where they settle after escaping. Perhaps settle is the wrong word because VTN sounds anything but settled. He is a spy for America inside his own home and a spy for Vietnam outside of his home. He is a sleeper in that for decades he doesn't tell his parents everything he does, including dating J, and his parents don't burden him with their worries and losses. He is a spook in the ghostly sense because he is a ghost of his own emotions, often numb at critical events.

I actually wondered as I read it whether there was anything new in this book. Margo Jefferson and Christina Sharpe have both written fragmentary memoirs exploring racism, representation, family and being 'othered'. Their innovation was subtler such as Jefferson crossing out elements of the quotes that didn't fit her, reflecting deletion, and writing in her own. Both also showed the importance of writing and finding their own voices. This is not to diminish the strength of voice that VTN discovers, merely to point out that he is not the only one that thinks like this and there is little acknowledgement of this idea. Other textual playings are to black out Trump's name whenever it is needed in the book and that feels clumsy - I had to say the word in my head when I read it so it's still there, like it or not.

My heart always sinks when I see a quote that says 'Every American needs to read it.'The same happened with The Maid by Stephanie Lander and then with this book. What I suspect is that those who need to read it are the very people who won't. It's a book that preaches to the converted.
… (més)
allthegoodbooks | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jun 9, 2024 |
This novel is about a Vietnamese spy, spying for the Viet Kong. When Saigon falls he is evacuated to Los Angeles and begins a new life…sort of. Eventually he is confronted with extreme difficulties that cause him to question everything and evaluate his life. I did not care for the guy: he’s fairly boring yet full of himself. The novel meanders until the last hundred pages when things get super intense and weirdly fever dreamlike. I was hoping for a cool spy novel reveal but was disappointed. I think this book is overhyped just because it’s unique.… (més)
technodiabla | Hi ha 151 ressenyes més | May 31, 2024 |
I'm clearly the odd one out here, so take this review with a huge grain of salt (and be sure to read other reviews if you're considering this book). I never read [b:The Sympathizer|23168277|The Sympathizer|Viet Thanh Nguyen||42713530], so I'm not sure if I just don't click with this author's style, or if I just didn't click with this book. Instead of being moved (or even) caring about the characters in the stories contained in this collection I found my brain wandering and surprised at how long it was taking me to read such a short book. It could also be that I'm overloaded with the magnitude and importance of this issue, and that after a daily dose of stories and I heard on NPR and read in the NYT, The Atlantic, The New Yorker and other publications, that by time I would pick up this book in the evening my brain (and heart) just couldn't handle any more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Grove Press for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
… (més)
jj24 | Hi ha 49 ressenyes més | May 27, 2024 |
Impressive writing, very dense, and hard going because of it. If it hadn't been a book club selection, I would not have completed it. Helped me learn the value of scenes, dialogue and white space to spur the reader forward.
1 vota
featherbooks | Hi ha 151 ressenyes més | May 7, 2024 |



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