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Viet Thanh Nguyen Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Sympathizer Books

The Sympathizer (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Committed (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Black-Eyed Women (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Picture Books

Chicken of the Sea (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Race and Resistance (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nothing Ever Dies (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Displaced (With: Aleksandar Hemon) (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Man of Two Faces (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Looking Back on the Vietnam War: Twenty-First-Century Perspectives(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ploughshares Summer 2016 Guest-Edited by Claire Messud & James Wood(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
One World Two(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fight of the Century(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Writer's Library(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Vietnam-born American Pulitzer novelist. Viet was born in Buon Me Thuot, Vietnam in the year 1971. He is the son of North Vietnam immigrants who moved to the south in the year 1954. In 1975, his family fled to the United States where they settled in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, a common Vietnam-American refugee camp. Viet’s family, however, moved to Harrisburg in the year 1978. Their final destination in the States was San Jose, California where they operated a grocery store of its kind. Viet Thanh Nguyen attended St. Patrick’s school and Bellarmine College Preparatory. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and ethnic studies at the University of California in the year 1992. Viet then advanced for his Ph.D. in English from Berkeley and graduated in the year 1997.

After Ph.D., Viet got employed as an assistant professor at the University of California working in the English and American studies and ethnicity departments. He rose to an associate professor in both departments in 2003. Currently, Viet Thanh Nguyen holds the position of the chair and professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at the same university. Besides teaching, Viet is also an editor of the diacritics blog for the diasporic Vietnamese. His novels revolve around fiction including historical, crime and literary fictions and non-fiction write-ups. Viet published his first novel, The Sympathizer in 2015. The novel later came to win the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, Center for fiction first novel prize among other prizes.

Besides this, Viet has also authored a series of many short stories and non-fiction novels. Viet Thanh Nguyen accolades include being a member of the American Council of learning societies in 2011-2012, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard between 2008-2009 and the fine arts work center in 2004 to 2005. Viet has also received multiple awards and recognitions from his teaching services.

The sympathizer

The sympathizer is Viet Thanh Nguyen’s debut book that won several awards. It is a book about Vietnam war and the aftermath of this event. It discusses loyalty, identity and the various constraints of adjusting to new cultures and realities. From the author’s view, Vietnamese do not view Americans in a positive light. From his life experience, Viet experienced this first hand. This book is, therefore, a flashback about the story of the South Vietnamese government and the subsequent events through his eyes.

The sympathizer narrates a story of the South Vietnamese government in 1975 and the American exile in Los Angeles through the eyes and experiences of a half-French, half-Vietnamese undercover agent. The soy remains unnamed in the whole novel. From the fall of Saigon, exit from Vietnam to refugee camps, relocation to Los Angeles, to being a film consultant based in the Philippines to the return and imprisonment in Vietnam, the spy remains unknown. The narrator is a mixed breed. Born and partly raised in Vietnam but schooled in the US. The narrator is also a friend to the South Vietnamese military officers and various soldiers within the CIA agents. He uses this opportunity to spy on information as he leaks it out to the North Vietnamese forces.

When the fall of Saigon occurred, he makes for a last minute hurried flight for his safety, his general and Bon, his friend. As they got on the plane, they are attacked, and Bon’s wife and children, among others, are killed. In Los Angeles, the general opens up a liquor store. The immigrants weaken and disillusioned quickly due to the foreign culture around them. Additionally, the American society dehumanizes and emasculates these people. This prompts the general to make swift plans of returning to Vietnam.

On the other side, the narrator takes up a clerical position at the Occidental College. In between his duties, he begins an affair with a Japanese colleague, Ms. Mori, and Lana, the general’s eldest daughter. The narrator also sends a letter to Man, a revolutionary man, and handler, written in invisible ink. He then left for the Philippines after receiving an offer to work as a consultant for a Hollywood film on Vietnam war, the Hamlet. The director of the film did not like the narrator. This is because the narrator saw the film as a misleading film on the representation of the war.

The narrator almost loses his life when explosives, set for the cast, detonates earlier than expected. Due to his skeptical ideas, he did not view it as a mistake but thinks that the director set them to kill him. Man, his friend and handler, insisted that he should stay in the US and work as a mole after recovery. However, he joins the general, and his troops headed back to Vietnam, aiming to go and save Bon. He is however caught in an unfamiliar dilemma with no idea how to get out of it. The narrator gets involved in a series of various thrilling activities coupled with betrayals and deceit ending up in his capture and arrest. The novel narration and setting will certainly keep you on toes from the beginning. The narrator admits learning a lot from his personal experiences during and after the war.

Nothing ever dies

This is a scholarly exploration by Viet Thanh Nguyen about his experiences and memories following the Vietnam war. Nguyen focuses on how the war affected not only his family and other people of the country. Viet extends his thought to other neighboring people including Cambodia, Laos, Korea, Philippines and other places experiencing similar warful situations. As Viet narrates, all wars are fought twice. The first encounter being on the battlefield and the second being in memory. Nguyen takes the reader through various sites across the United States, Korea, and southern Asia providing an in-depth interpretation of the war memories in a bid to prevent future wars. Drawing from this, Viet Thanh Nguyen provides lessons that people should remember that they are not only the victims of war but also the perpetrators of the same.

Having said this, Viet Thanh Nguyen offers a wide reflection on how people should view various issues, mainly wars, and crimes. Nothing ever dies, among many other short stories published by Viet have attracted immense readers and published in some sites. This makes him among the best writers, who draw their stories from their experiences.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Viet Thanh Nguyen

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