WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016
It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.
A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, offering a unique perspective on the Vietnam war.
A cerebral thriller around a desperate expat story that confronts the existential dilemmas of our age… I haven’t read anything since Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four that illustrates so palpably how a patient tyrant, unmoored from all human constraint, can reduce a man’s mind to liquid ~ Washington Post
Part literary historical fiction, part espionage thriller and part satire… Nguyen knows of what he writes ~ Los Angeles Times