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Viet Thanh Nguyen

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 7:00pm

Presidents Hall

Pulitzer-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen will read from recent work. His 2015 Pultizer-winning novel, The Sympathizer aptly describes themes related to diversity, difference, and otherness by narrating the Vietnam War from the point of view of the Vietnamese. The central character, the nameless narrator, embodies otherness. He lives between multiple worlds—the son of a Vietnamese mother and a French Catholic priest, a Communist undercover agent who works as the assistant to the chief of South Vietnam’s National Police—always both insider and outsider. The novel also explores the plight of war refugees once they arrive on American shores, and engages in a playful send-up of the film industry as the protagonist tries to influence American cinematic depictions of the conflict to be less jingoistic. Nguyen’s most recent book is a book of short stories, The Refugees.

Nguyen is Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Associate Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. His work as a scholar addresses urgent issues and themes central to the contemporary discussions in the humanities, including identity and otherness; race and race politics; history and memory; nationalism and globalization; migration and the status of the refugee.

Co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Themester, the College Arts and Humanities Institute, the Department of English, the Asian American Studies Program, and Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

For more information, please contact Tracy Bee.