Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Schedule
Friday, February 25
Saturday, February 26
Viet Thanh Nguyen
February 24 - 27, 2022
Author, critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times, and recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Viet Thanh Nguyen is professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and comparative literature at the University of Southern California. His debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize, was a Dayton Literary Peace Prize winner, and made the finalist list for the PEN/Faulkner award. Nguyen and his family came to the United States as refugees during the Vietnam War in 1975. As he grew up in America, he noticed that most movies and books about the war focused on Americans, while the Vietnamese were silenced and erased. He was inspired by this lack of representation to write about the war from a Vietnamese perspective. The Committed, published in 2021, has been called “a masterwork” and “revelatory.” Nguyen’s book, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, was a finalist for the National Book Award. His collection of short stories, The Refugees, explored questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. In 2018, Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result was The Displaced.
We were the unwanted, the unneeded, and the unseen, invisible to all but ourselves. Less than nothing, we also saw nothing as we crouched blindly in the unlit belly of our ark, 150 of us sweating in a space not meant for us mammals but for the fish of the sea.”
From the prologue of The Committed