|Author:||Viet Thanh Nguyen|
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016
Winner of Carnegie Medal 2016.
Shortlisted for Edgar Allan Poe Awards: Best First Novel 2016.
[A] remarkable debut novel ... His book fills a void in the literature, giving voice to the previously voiceless ... An absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet ---New York Times Book Review
Extraordinary ... Surely a new classic of war fiction ... [Nguyen] has written a cerebral thriller around a desperate expat story that confronts the existential dilemmas of our age ... I haven't read anything since Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four that illustrates so palpably how a patient tyrant, unmoored from all human constraint, can reduce a man's mind to liquid --Washington Post
This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War ... Nguyen's darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we've rarely seen --Oprah.com (Oprah's Book Club Suggestions)
The satire is delicious --New Yorker
The Sympathizer reads as part literary historical fiction, part espionage thriller and part satire. Nguyen knows of what he writes --Los Angeles Times
An important new perspective on the Vietnam War ... The Sympathizer will both startle and grip you --BuzzFeed
An early frontrunner for debut novel of the year --Flavorwire (10 Must-Read Books for April)
I cannot remember the last time I read a novel whose protagonist I liked so much. Smart, funny, and self-critical, with a keen sense of when to let a story speak for itself ... [Nguyen] proves a gifted and bold satirist --Barnes & Noble Review
Arresting ... One of the best pieces of fiction about the Vietnam war-and by a Vietnamese... Stunning ... Could it be that Nguyen has captured the shape of the devolution of war itself, from grand ambition to human ruin? ... One of the finest novels of the Vietnam War published in recent years --Daily Beast
Read this novel with care; it is easy to read, wry, ironic, wise, and captivating, but it could change not only your outlook on the Vietnam War, but your outlook on what you believe about politics and ideology in general. It does what the best of literature does, expands your consciousness beyond the limitations of your body and individual circumstances --Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War
Magisterial. A disturbing, fascinating and darkly comic take on the fall of Saigon and its aftermath, and a powerful examination of guilt and betrayal. The Sympathizer is destined to become a classic and redefine the way we think about the Vietnam War and what it means to win and to lose T.C. Boyle, author of The Tortilla Curtain
[A] dark and exciting debut novel ... Black humour seeps through these pages Wall Street Journal Not only does Viet Thanh Nguyen bring a rare and authentic voice to the body of American literature generated by the Vietnam War, he has created a book that transcends history and politics and nationality and speaks to the enduring theme of literature: the universal quest for self, for identity. The Sympathizer is a stellar debut by a writer of depth and skill Robert --Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
Beautifully written and meaty --Claire Messud
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative, and the Chicago Tribune and he is the author of the academic book Race and Resistance. He teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.