The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) (Paperback)
A brilliant first novel about different kinds of identity, loyalty, and the war in Vietnam. The narrator is writing his confession to the "Commandant," explaining his role as a sleeper agent for the North Vietnamese during and after the fall of South Vietnam. Escaping on the last plane out of Saigon with the General he served, the half-Vietnamese/half-French narrator traveled to California as a refugee. In his alter ego, as a spy for the North Vietnamese, his role now is to report any possible move among the exiled South Vietnamese to mount an armed return to their country. But he is a fence sitter; he can see the merits to both sides -- he is sympathetic to both. It's an untenable situation that does not bode well for his future as he is forced to do terrible things to prove his loyalty -- to each side. Nguyen writes with both harsh intensity and lyrical beauty that together made it difficult for me to put this book down. Highly recommended.— Alice
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
Soon to be an HBO Original Series
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
One of TIME's 100 Best Mystery and Thriller Books of All Time
" 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.