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The Committed

Viet Thanh Nguyen
In Conversation With Laila Lalami
Monday, April 12, 2021
00:56:46
Episode Summary

In a highly anticipated sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen returns with an exhilarating spy thriller that takes on the global aftermath of the Vietnam War. The Committed follows the Sympathizer, the conflicted double agent, as he seeks refuge in Paris in the 1980s. Both charmed and disturbed by the gritty Paris underworld, the Sympathizer struggles to assimilate into a dominant culture. Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam and raised in America, has long been devoted to exploring Vietnamese American history in his acclaimed work. He is the author of the short story collection The Refugees, the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, and is the editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations, Nguyen is a professor of English, American studies, and comparative literature at the University of Southern California. The Library Foundation welcomes Nguyen for a discussion of his fierce, funny, and visionary new novel.


Participant(s) Bio

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the author of The Sympathizer, which was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, alongside seven other prizes. He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees, the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, a finalist for the National Book Award, and is the editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He lives in Los Angeles.

Laila Lalami is the author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Secret Son, and The Moor's Account, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper's Magazine, and The Guardian. In 2019, she was awarded the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize for her body of work. A professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside, she lives in Los Angeles.



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