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Author Viet Nguyen - The Sympathizer
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author in Glendale
- Date: 09/29/2016 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
- Location: Adult Recreation Center - Next to Central Library
222 East Harvard Street
Glendale, California 91205
- Introduction: Author talk followed by Q/A and book signing
The Friends of the Library is excited to present 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Viet Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer. The event will include Q/A followed by a book signing.
The novel begins in April 1975, as Saigon is about to fall to communist invasion. Soon enough it does, and the war is over. Or is it?
Black comedy, historical novel, and literary thriller, The Sympathizer follows a nameless spy who has infiltrated the South Vietnamese army and flees with its remnants to America. His mission: report on their efforts to continue their lost war. As the aide to a general who refuses to admit defeat, he observes the struggles of the Vietnamese refugees to survive in a melancholic Los Angeles. Among them, the general believes, are communist agents. So our spy’s double life continues, hunting communists while helping the general organize a covert army. Their mission: to invade Vietnam and take it back.
Neither America nor a double life is new to our narrator. He is Eurasian, his father a French priest, his mother Vietnamese. He has been a double agent since his teenage years, and in his college years, he studied in California, the better to learn American culture. His war is a psychological one, but as he slowly realizes, much of that war is fought within himself, a man in between races and countries. As he tells us from the beginning: I am a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds.
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Other honors include 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. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English, and an associate professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, at the University of Southern California. He has also written Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. His most recent book is The Sympathizer's nonfiction sequel, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Visitors to the Adult Recreation Center receive 3 hours FREE parking in the MarketPlace parking structure on Harvard Street with validation at the Adult Recreation Center.