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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.