“This is an entirely new take on the Vietnam War and its aftermath. It shifts your perspective 180 degrees -- now you are not the American soldier sweltering through the dense jungle wondering why you are here -- now you are the native, whose country has been overrun by yet another cruel and condescending foreign invader. This is also a tale of divided loyalties (the union of opposites?): the protagonist is the son of a French catholic priest who seduced his 13-year-old Vietnamese maid; he is the trusted aid of a South Vietnamese general while he is also a spy for the Viet Cong. Through it all, he is mostly a witty, snarky observer of the world around him and his place in it: ‘Besides my conscience, my liver is the most abused part of my body’ and ‘A slogan is just an empty suit, anyone can wear— Conrad Silverberg
April 2015 Indie Next List
“The Sympathizer is a fascinating and highly original novel about the Vietnam War and its aftermath. The unnamed narrator, a South Vietnamese captain, works for the Americans while spying for the Viet Cong. After the evacuation of Saigon, he follows an American general to the U.S. and finds himself torn between two worlds: his new life in the West among his fellow political refugees and his sympathies for the Communists back home. Nguyen injects much dark humor into this tragic story, and the narrator's voice is both subversive and unforgettable. The Sympathizer will be one of the most talked-about novels of the year.”
— Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as seven other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.
About the Author
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the academic books Race and Resistance and Nothing Ever Dies. He is a cultural critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times and teaches English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles.