The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) (Paperback)

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I don't often read war novels. But I wanted to see why this first time novelist won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature this year. It is because he is a fantastic writer and he tells an amazing story. It is the end of the Viet Nam war and the Americans are pulling out taking only a select number of supporters with them. Our unlikely hero, is one of the lucky ones. Born of a Vietnamese mother and a European Catholic priest father, he is also a double agent, trained in warfare and torture by the CIA and yet reporting regularly to the communist regime. And he is trying to live in America. His first person monologue on war, on being Asian, on being Asian in America, and on Americans in general is so wise, so profound and so true, I found myself reading passages over again, just to fully understand his insights. And the story is great as well. Caught up in the delusions of the general he serves still in the bay area, and his own feelings about the superior nature of communism, he agrees to return to Viet Nam to try to retake his country. This is a story so full of human frailty and imperfection, that all humans can relate to it. It's not an easy read, but it is a great story by a writer who has much to say about the human condition.

— From More Staff Picks

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


Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
Winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

" A] remarkable debut novel." --Philip Caputo, New York Times Book Review (cover review)

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, a startling debut novel from a powerful new voice featuring one of the most remarkable narrators of recent fiction: a conflicted subversive and idealist working as a double agent in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

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 author of The Committed, which continues the story of The Sympathizer, awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in 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.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802124944
ISBN-10: 0802124941
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: April 12th, 2016
Pages: 384
Language: English