You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

Viet Thanh Nguyen & Ariel Dorfman on the Vietnam War, How Hollywood Reframes U.S. Imperialism & More

Web ExclusiveMay 04, 2018
Media Options

Extended interview with the writers Viet Thanh Nguyen and Ariel Dorfman, who have both contributed essays to the new collection, “The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives.” Nguyen won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel “The Sympathizer.” Dorfman has been described as one of the greatest Latin American novelists. His latest novel is “Darwin’s Ghosts.”

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report, with Part 2, as we continue this conversation with two of the nation’s most celebrated writers, both refugees themselves. Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1971. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, he and his family fled to the United States. He’s the author of three books, including The Sympathizer, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016. He’s also the editor of a new collection titled The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. Viet is professor of English at the University of Southern California, USC.

We’re also joined by the Chilean-American writer Ariel Dorfman, who has been described as one of the greatest Latin American novelists. Forty-five years ago, he fled Chile after a U.S.-backed coup displaced the democratically elected President Salvador Allende, who died in the palace as the U.S.-backed Pinochet forces rose to power. Ariel Dorfman served as Allende’s cultural adviser from 1970 to '73. Living in exile, he became one of General Pinochet's most vocal critics, as well as a celebrated playwright and novelist. Professor Dorfman teaches at Duke University. He’s just published a new novel called Darwin’s Ghosts and a new collection of essays titled Homeland Security Ate My Speech: Messages from the End of the World.

So, I want to go back to Viet to talk about your experience both in Vietnam and the United States, because this is a seminal year, 2018, 50th anniversary of so much: My Lai, Tet Offensive, the assassination of Dr. King, who the year to the day before his death gave that famous speech at Riverside Church, why he opposed the war in Vietnam, condemned by so many in the corporate media, from Time magazine, Life magazine, Washington Post, calling him—basically that he betrayed his cause, his country and his people, saying the war in Vietnam was not his war. He just doubled down and kept on speaking. But Tet Offensive, My Lai, talk about Vietnam and your experience of it as a child, but then how you reflect back on it.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, I wasn’t even born in 1968. I was born in 1971. But the events of that time period, I think, have become a part of the collective memory, at least for Americans and also for Vietnamese peoples, that if you go back to Vietnam, you’ll find all these memorials and monuments and museums dedicated to the victorious Vietnamese perspective on the Vietnam War. And so, things like the My Lai massacre and the Tet Offensive are commemorated there as either signs of American villainy or signs of Vietnamese triumph.

And, you know, my issue is that it’s a very complicated history, and to make it constantly American-centered does a disservice to Americans, who I think have a very American-centric view about the Vietnam War. And it allows, from the perspective of the American left, a certain idealization of the Vietnamese, thinking of them as the revolutionaries and the victorious Vietnamese and all this kind of stuff, the victims of American foreign policy. But all that may be true, but we should have a little bit more of a complex attitude, understanding that the victorious Vietnamese themselves persecuted their enemies, the southern Vietnamese, after the end of the war, and the victorious Vietnamese had extended the war into Laos and Cambodia. And that kind of complexity, I think, is still not really a part of the American consciousness about this history.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, talk about—I mean, you wrote the book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, I wrote that book, and deliberately, to talk about how the war is remembered not just in the United States and Vietnam, but Laos and Cambodia, and South Korea, as well. South Korea was the largest allied army of the United States, sent 300,000 troops, which the U.S. paid for. And U.S. also paid for South Korean contractors to come to Vietnam and help the U.S. military. This is part of the beginning of South Korea’s rise from a country that was poorer than South Vietnam to the country—


VIET THANH NGUYEN: Poorer in 19—in the 1960s, it was poorer than South Vietnam. It had just been devastated by the Korean War, which killed about 2 to 3 million Koreans, and was carpet-bombed by the United States. Now, of course, Korea, South Korea, is what it is. But it’s—that history is tied in with the Vietnam War. That history has almost been completely obliterated.

Now, I talk about Cambodia and Laos because I think a lot of Americans don’t even know the war was fought in Cambodia and Laos, don’t know that 3 million Vietnamese people died in the war. But 3 million Cambodians and Laotians died during the war and afterwards. And it’s important to bring this up, because Americans, when they feel guilty, will say, “OK, we know that in Vietnam it’s called the American War. So maybe we should call it that.” And I’m saying even that is not sufficient, because the Vietnamese who call it the American War don’t want to think about what they did in Laos and Cambodia, and what they still do there today. So, thinking of war in just these binary terms of Vietnam and the United States just completely simplifies the history of what happened there.

AMY GOODMAN: You are teaching young people today who certainly were not born at the time of the Vietnam War. When you have to go on, beyond that, to talk about Cambodia and Laos, explain what you say. For example, President Nixon, who, you know, was—came from California, not far from where you teach, at University of Southern California—Nixon’s secret bombing of Cambodia.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, the students who come into my class—I teach a large class on the Vietnam War, for example—basically just know the stereotypes of the Vietnam War from movies and just very, very basic things. So I only spend the first third of the course talking about the American points of view, and the last two-thirds talking about Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian points of view. And I’m gratified that the students come out of that course saying, “We wish we knew more than what you taught us about Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and a little bit less about the American perspective.” And so, it is, I think, for them, shocking to learn certain things, like the secret bombing of Cambodia, which has also been completely forgotten, as well.

But the larger point of the course, outside of just making the history more complex, is to talk about humanity and inhumanity, remembering and forgetting. Why have we forgotten certain things? What would it mean to remember in a more just way? Can we talk not just about humanity, which is crucial, but can we talk about how inhumanity is a part of humanity? It always has been. And that’s a very uncomfortable truth for anybody to confront. But it’s what I want them to understand about us, as people, not just as Americans or Vietnamese people, but us as a species.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, Viet Thanh Nguyen is a little younger than you, Ariel Dorfman. He wasn’t even born yet in 1968, but you were at UC Berkeley.

ARIEL DORFMAN: I was in Berkeley. I was in Berkeley.

AMY GOODMAN: University of California, Berkeley.

ARIEL DORFMAN: I was at People’s Park. I did the whole—the whole thing, right? I went across the United States, and I was part of this whole movement. So, as a Chilean who was there, I was very, very enthused both by the antiwar movement—

AMY GOODMAN: This is before you would go to Chile.

ARIEL DORFMAN: No, no, no. I was there as a research scholar from Chile.

AMY GOODMAN: But before 1973.

ARIEL DORFMAN: Oh, yeah, exactly. It was 1968, you know, and I went back to Chile enthused by what I had learned from the American left and the liberation movement and all the love-ins and all that. It was quite a nice time to be alive, let’s say, if you weren’t in Vietnam fighting the war—right?—or being killed in Attica.

I wanted to go to something that you just said, Viet, because it’s very important for America today, I think. You know, after a while, after the coup—at the beginning, I would always speak about the CIA and what they had done, because it was a flagrant intervention in a democratically elected government. And after a while, I stopped. I stopped speaking about the CIA-sponsored coup, etc., etc. And the reason I did this is not because I didn’t find it to be detestable, but because I felt that it was taking away from the role of the Chilean people themselves in the destruction of our own democracy. And that’s very, very important, because when you begin to think of the idea that you’re the victim, and that the other came in and did something terrible to you, and if only they’d left us alone, everything would be fine—first of all, that’s not possible in the world, right? People don’t just leave you alone to do whatever you want. We made serious mistakes. Allende is my hero. But there were serious mistakes made during that revolution, right?

So, to suppose, for instance, that Trump is the problem is wrong. He is, of course, a problem. But the problem is how many people voted for him. In the Homeland Security Ate My Speech book, one of the things that I keep on going back to is: This is a product of the United States. He’s not alien to the United States. On the contrary, he comes straight out of a great tradition in the United States as such, right? So, the responsibility—I mean, you know, they weren’t Russians who were voting in Pennsylvania. They were Americans voting in Pennsylvania. So, what made them vote in that way? What is there? What rage is there? What abandonment is there of certain people in the United States, who have very legitimate grievances and who are taking them out in the absolutely wrong way?

The same thing, we can say, about Chile: In what way did we, on the left, misunderstand entirely and alienate all the people in the country, who were our natural allies in the center? Why couldn’t we create a great coalition? You can’t win with 51 percent of the vote or 45 percent of the vote. If you’re going to change things, you need 70, 80 percent of the vote. You need all the people to agree. One of the reasons why I think literature matters and writing matters is because one of the things that we try to do is we try to explain things with as much clarity as possible, so that we break down the barriers between people.

I feel—they’ve asked me this over and over again: “How can you say you feel compassionate for the Trump supporters?” And I say, “Yes, I feel sorry for them, because they are stuck in a situation that is, in great measure, not of their making. In great measure, it is. But they are really victims themselves of a whole history in the United States”—why I go back and back to American innocence, in Melville and in Faulkner and everywhere. Always the problem is that American innocence. And if we could really break down the barriers of that innocence, understand that America is not exceptional, it’s not always good—it’s done terrific and very good things. But if we could only—I mean, you, yourself, you’re—look at you. You are the typical good gringa, right? No, seriously. It’s great to have people like you. And there are many people like you—right?—in the country.

AMY GOODMAN: With friends like these, uh…

ARIEL DORFMAN: Well, with friends like these, right. I mean, but—no, but this matters enormously, because it indicates that we have to think—we have to think of the past, that memory you’re talking about, and we have to get over the idea that we are victims of somebody else. No, we are the arbiters of our destiny, and we’re stuck in this situation—we, all of us—because of things that happened in the past, the immediate past, the Frankenstein past, right? The Republicans created Trump, right? And the Democrats allowed, in great measure, for Trump to rise. And we have to recognize that. And if we don’t, we’re going to be stuck in the situation of my protagonist, who is a very innocent American kid and all of a sudden finds himself invaded by a face that he doesn’t know whom it is. We have to find out who those faces are. Who are the faces that have been neglected by history? Who are the—what are the stories, right?

They’ve just opened the lynching museum in Montgomery, right? Bryan Stevenson, another great, wonderful American, right? If we don’t look at that, we cannot understand the killing of black and African-American kids in—we can’t understand the incarceration. We can’t understand the idea they’re public spectacles. People went to lynchings like they went to picnic parties, right? The same way in which they went to human zoos, in my novel, to watch people as if they were monkeys.

So, there’s a history that we have to look at, and that we’re able to look at. And I think, as writers, especially, it matters that—I mean, I’m able to understand things about Vietnam, which I’ve really studied and looked at and thought about a lot, because it’s the war of my generation, in great measure. Through Viet’s words, I’m able to imagine it, imagine it in a different way. And that idea of the compassionate imagination, of the imagination creating another reality that brings people together, to understand that, I think it’s—that’s exhilarating, as talking about exhilaration, right?

AMY GOODMAN: I want to talk about Hollywood framing these historic moments. But first, I can’t help notice your T-shirt, Viet. I just want to ask you about this T-shirt. Kelly Marie Tran, the actress in Star Wars, Rose Tico. Talk about why you’re wearing it today.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, number one, I did not know I was going to be on TV today, so that’s one reason why I’m wearing it. I’d be much more formal, otherwise. But it was a big deal when this happened, and a Vietnamese—two Vietnamese actresses were actually cast in this Star Wars movie. And, of course, I grew up—

AMY GOODMAN: She is the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Yeah, exactly, refugees, I think. And it’s this issue of, you know, having your face reflected on a big screen, is a huge issue for minorities in this country. Part of majority privilege is taking for granted that all the stories will be about you. And if you’re a minority, you understand that most of the stories are not about you. So there’s enormous burdens put upon these stories that we tell, and these people who become actors and are our representatives. So, when she became a star through this, it was a big deal for me, whose—one of my earliest cinematic memories is watching Star Wars on the VCR about a dozen times.

And I have a little son. He was like 4-and-a-half when this—4 when this movie came out. And I said, “Do you know who this is?” And he said, “No.” I said, “This is Kelly Marie Tran. She’s Vietnamese, and she’s on Star Wars.” And he said, “I don’t care.” And I said, “I’m going to make you care.” And I took him to the Lego store, and I said, “Look, here’s the kit with Kelly Marie Tran in it.” And he said, “I don’t care.” I said, “Fine. I’m going to buy this Lego kit, and I’m going to give it to your best friend.” And he started to cry. And now he knows who Kelly Marie Tran is. And whenever I ask him, he says, “She’s Viet-tamese.” I say, “That’s right. That’s who you are.”

AMY GOODMAN: So, at the end of your book The Sympathizer, for which you won the Pulitzer Prize, you have this extended story of how Hollywood chooses to portray the Vietnam War. And, Ariel, you wrote the seminal book, How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic. And I want to talk about Hollywood’s framing of the stories that are so critical for you. Viet, let’s begin with you.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, I call Hollywood the unofficial ministry of propaganda for this country. We don’t need an official ministry of propaganda, because the American dream ideology is so powerful. No one has to force Hollywood executives to make propaganda. They do it because they’re basically in agreement with the Pentagon.

And so, if we talk specifically about the Vietnam War, we see how the complexity of this ideology works, because a lot of people watch movies like Apocalypse Now, for example, and say, “That’s an antiwar movie.” And it may or may not be an antiwar movie. But the larger import is that it gets everybody to see the world through an American perspective. That’s very, very powerful. So, when I go around the world talking about doing research on the Vietnam War, no matter where I go, people will say, “Have you seen Apocalypse Now?”

So I was interviewed by Italian leftist media after The Sympathizer came out. They’re opposed to the United States. They’re opposed to the American War in Vietnam. They think Americans are imperialists. But they love Apocalypse Now. They don’t—they didn’t even recognize that the fact that they were standing up for the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War completely clashes with watching a movie in which the Vietnamese are completely silenced and are there just as the backdrop for an American drama. That’s how Hollywood operates, by getting us to always identify and see through American perspectives.

ARIEL DORFMAN: Can I give you a very specific example, which I’ve never heard talked about? You know, one of the most famous photographs of the Vietnamese War is of somebody who’s being executed with a gun, right? The Deer Hunter turns that into the exact opposite image, of an American being subjected by the Vietnamese to this Russian roulette, turning the Americans into victims. And what I found is Americans tend to think of themselves very often as the victims of the Vietnam War. How could this happen to us? We’ve got to get over the Vietnam syndrome, as if it were some sort of sickness, as if “Let’s stop invading other countries because we’re going to be hurt by this,” right? Not asking about that. So, there you have a typical example of that.

But I also want to say, you know, that there are films that the ministry of propaganda cannot help but make. And, for instance, the film Missing by Costa Gavras was a film that helped me immensely in my work against the government of General Pinochet, which is with Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek, about just an American kid who was disappeared, of course.

AMY GOODMAN: Charles Horman.

ARIEL DORFMAN: The idea was, you could not—I mean, you couldn’t make a film about a disappeared Latino, but it had to be an American. But still, it was written like that. So when I would go to a congressional office or to a lobbyist, or go and speak to people, the first thing I would say is, “Have you seen Missing?” “Yes,” they would say. All of them say yes. “Great! Let’s dispense with everything else. This is what’s happening to my whole people.” You know, I was able to use that film in that sense. So I just want to say that America is full of cracks. It’s full of—it’s full of contradictions. And one of the things, you know, that I find very interesting is that there are possibilities of breaking down those systems, because they’re fake. And finally, reality has a way of getting like a plant inside the bricks and breaking them open in that way, you know?

AMY GOODMAN: So talk about How to Read Donald Duck.

ARIEL DORFMAN: Right. Well, I mean, look, this was a book where what we were doing—Allende—Allende’s revolution was a socialist democratic revolution, elected by the people of Chile. And one of the ideas was you take back everything. You know, you take—the foreign corporations own the land and they own the mines and the resources. You nationalize that. You have agrarian reform. You create a new educational system.

And one of the things that we were interested in is, we had to create new comics, but we knew no idea of how comics worked. I mean, how did this imperialist colonialist work? And we took Disney and Donald Duck as a typical example, because we were importing millions of copies. All Latin America, all the world was importing these copies. And in these books, or these comic books, Donald Duck and his nephews, who I love—I mean, I’m a fan in that sense—would go to places like Aztec Land or Vietnam, and they would then create a vision of history as these little white invaders into this country and would save them from tyranny and from their problems. So, with Armand Mattelart, a Belgian sociologist, we wrote a book called How to Read Donald Duck, which was basically a pamphlet for how—John Berger called it a handbook—a manual of decolonization, meaning by reading it—it’s very similar, in some sense, I’m sorry, to my novel, again, Darwin’s Ghosts, which is to break down the ways in which we conventionally see the world, to see what we consider to be innocent not so innocent.

And then, when the coup came, they—two things happened to the book. It got burned on television. I was the first person perhaps in the world to watch his own book being burnt on TV. And then the third or fourth edition was thrown into the Bay of Valparaíso and drowned. So our duck was both burnt and drowned. We thought we were roasting Disney, but Disney had the last word. So, in October of this year, we’re bringing out the first American edition of this, after it having appeared in dozens and dozens of countries. That’s for another story.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: There’s never been an American edition?

ARIEL DORFMAN: We imported 4,000 copies from the—because in this book, we take Disney’s images and show the images, right? The images, and therefore we infringed, supposedly, on his copyright. So, when the 4,000 copies were imported in the United States, Disney asked the Treasury Department to stop them for piracy. And we won. We won—I think we’re the only people who ever won a copyright infringement thing against Disney. But they didn’t allow—they allowed 1,500 copies only into the country. And it’s never been published since in exactly that form. And now it’s going to be published, finally. We’ll see. We’ll see what will happen with that.

AMY GOODMAN: Before we end, Ariel Dorfman, I wanted you to talk about the love story in Darwin’s Ghosts and why it’s so important to the kind of discussion we’re having today about bringing out voices, bringing out stories, human stories of people.

ARIEL DORFMAN: Well, I think it’s important because of that, because it’s talking about neglected people who have been photographed in the past and who we have no idea who they are, and trying to find a way of understanding them. But it’s a love story, in a great measure. I have been—since Widows, in Death and the Maiden, in all my work, I try to find ways how women who have been suppressed find a strange and enormous power. And when a woman takes power in that way, I mean takes over their lives and contests the way the world is organized, all hell breaks loose. And it’s a good hell that breaks loose. I mean, you know, it’s good. It’s very interesting. It disrupts the conventional, and therefore allows for the other voices to come out.

And this is a love story because the protagonist can’t go out into the streets because he will be photographed and taken over by corporations, who will experiment with him in some way. He can’t get a driver’s license. He can’t get a passport. So he’s confined to a room. He’s defenseless. He’s a home person, right? He’s stuck in the home, like so many women have been stuck in home. And his wife, the love of his life, Camilla Wood, can go anywhere she wants, and is a wonderful scientist, and she will find the way to discover who that person is. What does that person from the past want? Why has he decided that that exotic, supposedly, being to take over the face of a young and innocent American? What does he want us to do as average, typical Americans? And it’s a love story in the sense that it is their love for each other which allows them to survive a series of real adventures. I mean, I have them finally going off on the high seas like Jack London or Herman Melville or Conrad, off to find the origins of who this photograph represents. But I believe—I really believe in love. I really believe that it is a very powerful force in our times, and that if we are to prevail as a species, I think it is what will save us.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Viet, The Displaced. I mean, we’re talking about a time now when well over 22 million people, the highest number of refugees in the world ever recorded, fleeing persecution and conflict. This is a time when the U.S. is not just closing its doors, slamming its doors shut on refugees. And I was wondering if in your book, The Displaced, you can talk about the writers you chose to be a part of this book—of course, including Ariel, who does a chapter—and the areas they represent.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, there are so many. I mean, you know, we chose 17 writers. And it was really important to choose writers, because if we just wanted to do oral histories or interviews, we’d have our choice of millions of people. But part of the point was to try to find writers who had actually been refugees themselves, who are eloquent writers in their own right.

So, for example, Aleksandar Hemon has a piece in there. He himself is a Bosnian refugee, but he interviews another Bosnian refugee as part of his larger project about Bosnian refugees. And this particular Bosnian refugee has a life like Candide. It’s unimaginable how many things have happened to this poor man in his journey. But he’s probably not unique. And there are so many stories like that.

Kao Kalia Yang, Hmong refugee, she was born in a Thai refugee camp after fleeing from Laos. And in her story, she talks about what life was like for little children in that camp, that they’re forced to grow up very, very fast. Life in a refugee camp, I don’t know what people’s perceptions are, it is not as if you’re being taken well care of. You’re basically being barely kept alive. So, in order to—

ARIEL DORFMAN: You become adult before your time.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: You become adult before your time, and the adults themselves are reduced and humiliated in these kinds of conditions. And so she talks about how these little children have to fight to get food for their families.

David Bezmozgis, another well-known writer, who fled from the Soviet Union as a child, has a quieter story. He talks about being a witness in another refugee’s case in Canada.

So, when people ask, “What can we do to help refugees?” there are a lot of things you can do. You know, you can give money, for example. You can reach out. You can make contact. You can testify for others. But we’re not—those of us who are not refugees now are not helpless in this crisis.

AMY GOODMAN: You also talk about Burma, or have an essay on what’s happening in, well, what the military regime renamed Myanmar.

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Mm-hmm, absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: So, as we wrap up, what gives you hope?

VIET THANH NGUYEN: What gives me hope is that I think there are people who do understand the crisis that we’re facing. There are obviously many people who don’t, who want to close the door and so on. But there are many people who identify with refugees, who identify with immigrants, who understand that we all share the same conditions and that what’s happening to us as Americans here in this country is completely related to what’s happening elsewhere that’s producing these kinds of refugees. And we’re there to be the moral, you know, consciousness of this country to remind Americans of what they’ve done and what they owe.

AMY GOODMAN: When President Trump came to California, near where you were, San Diego, to, oh, look at the prototypes of walls that he’d like to have erected on the southern border, what were your feelings at that time?

VIET THANH NGUYEN: My feelings were, no matter how you build this wall, you’re not going to stop refugees and immigrants from coming. This hasn’t worked in the past. And the more foreboding that wall becomes, the more it becomes like the Berlin Wall. And we will be marked badly by this kind of construction, by this effort to keep people out, or keep people in.

AMY GOODMAN: And final question. There is a summit about to take place between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, maybe on the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. You teach a class on Vietnam. Of course, you’re a Vietnam refugee yourself. You talked about South Korea and its relationship with the United States and how the Vietnam War changed it. What about North Korea?

VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, you have to understand that North and South Korea exist because of outside interventions. And they’ve been at a state of permanent warfare for 60 or 70 years. And this is in sort of an artificial environment. You know, I mean, if the Koreans had been allowed to carry out their own self-determination, we’d have a very different history today. But now we have two countries that have been shaped deeply by the so-called Cold War, which was very hot for them. And I don’t know what this moment really signifies, but at least it’s an attempt on the part of Koreans to wrest their own fate away from what the Chinese want, what the Russians want, what the Americans want. And so we have to have a little bit of optimism about this.

AMY GOODMAN: And what gives you hope, Ariel?

ARIEL DORFMAN: The thing that most gives me hope is my wife. She’s my home. She has allowed me to live this life. She’s lived with me now for many, many years and accompanied me through these wanderings. And I think that that symbolizes, in many ways, that there are—as Viet just said, there are many, many people who are companions on this route. And most of them are very invisible. But when they begin to speak, and when they begin to act, nothing can stop them. And there’s a lot of them in this country. That gives me an enormous amount of hope.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us, the great writers Ariel Dorfman, playwright, poet, activist, his latest book, Darwin’s Ghosts, and book of essays, Homeland Security Ate My Speech: Messages from the End of the World, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Refugees, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner for The Sympathizer, editor of the new book The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives.

This is Democracy Now! To see Part 1 of our discussion, go to I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Up Next

“A Man of Two Faces”: Author Viet Thanh Nguyen on New Memoir, U.S. Imperialism, Vietnam & More

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation