So many congratulations to Viet Thanh Nguyen who just won the Pulitzer Price in fiction for his debut novel, The Sympathizer! I was jumping up and down in my office chair when I saw the news yesterday.
I devoured this book last year when I reviewed it for 8Asians and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s got a particular wry tone and perspective that make it dramatic in big and small ways, always carrying readers forward whether we like the narrator or not. I haven’t read the other finalists, but I have read this one, and if you haven’t had a chance to pick it up, I highly recommend it. And now you don’t have to trust my word, there’s a whole committee of brilliant people who are also singing its praises.
I’ve been very much in Nguyen’s mind this past week, finishing up his second book, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. I would have been excited in any case, but this made me extra stoked. Nothing Ever Dies is a different, if complementary, critical work — look out for the review next week.