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  October 20, 2017

Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Sympathizer

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author discusses his acclaimed novel and the legacy of the Vietnam War.


biography

Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of Truthdig. He's also a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and host of the KCRW podcast Scheer Intelligence. For decades, Bob was the national correspondent, and then columnist, for the Los Angeles Times. He's the author of many books, including The Great American Stickup, The Pornography of Power, and most recently They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.



USC professor Viet Thanh Nguyen won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Sympathizer and is a 2017 MacArthur Fellow. He tells Robert Scheer he wanted his novel to tell a story with the Vietnamese experience in the foreground unlike previous narratives about the country. He tells Scheer the United States has often in recent history used its overwhelming power in spite of its ignorance about a foreign country’s culture and people. And he says the independence that Vietnam now has allows the country to control its fate but also destroy its future.

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