Stories We Tell with Lee Isaac Chung & Viet Thanh Nguyen
The A24 Podcast
Topics covered include: career trajectories, seeing yourself through your children’s eyes, the traveling circus energy of a film set, paying to play, knowing failure, making art for yourself, the impact of the Hollywood stereotypes we grow up with, American hang-ups about the Vietnam War, the legendary Park Chan-wook, whether Isaac would make a Marvel movie, the artistry of Minari, and why every immigrant story should be considered an epic.
Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses his new novel, “The Committed,” the follow-up to his Pulitzer-winning “The Sympathizer,” and the second entry in a planned trilogy. It brings Nguyen’s storytelling further into the philosophy of refugees, feminism, communism, anti-communism and more—the terror of both the American war in Vietnam and the French presence in Vietnam, along with the Vietnamese presence in America andFrance. This is duality enacted as a writing method; this is a union between theory and fiction. A novel of ideas and politics and history and theory, but also a crime novel. A novel you’re not born knowing how to read, and you might have to reread it, this is exciting contemporary literature.
210. Laila Lalami with Viet Thanh Nguyen: Conditional Citizens
Town Hall Seattle Civics Series
What does it mean to be an American? Author Laila Lalami joinsed us to discuss this question in conversation with fellow author Viet Thanh Nguyen. Drawing from her book Conditional Citizen, she recounted her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to US citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she interrogated how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, keeping the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. With deeply personal stories, Lalami invites us to explore the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture. Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of four award-winning novels: Secret Son, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, The Other Americans, and The Moor’s Account. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. You can follow her on Twitter @LailaLalami. Viet Thanh Nguyen is a writer, whose novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He has written and edited a number of other works, and is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. He is an English professor at the University of Southern California. You can follow him on Twitter @viet_t_nguyen. Buy the Book: https://www.thirdplacebooks.com/book/9781524747169 Presented by Town Hall Seattle. To become a member or make a donation click here or text TOWN HALL to 44321.
Viet Thanh Nguyen, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer talks with Reza about growing up in San Jose, identifying as a refugee writer, and learning to write for himself. Thao Nguyen (from Thao and the Get Down Stay Down) joins them to talk about the internal Orient/Occident divide, and then she plays her song “Age of Ice.” Watch Rough Draft and other Topic shows on the Apple TV app. Go to apple.co/topic to get your free 7-day trial. Follow Viet Thanh Nguyen @viet_t_nguyen Follow Thao Nguyen @thaogetstaydown Rough Draft is a Topic Original Series. Hosted by Reza Aslan Executive Produced by Reza Aslan, David Andreone, Alfredo de Villa, and Safa Samieyazde’-Yazd. Executive Producers for Topic, Ryan Chanatry, Anna Holmes, and Gena Konstantinakos. Production aid from Russell Sperberg. Music and Theme by Jacob Snider. Sound by Sean Oakley. Editing and mixing by Will Stanton, with additional editing by Blake V. Twitter | @roughdraftreza Facebook | Rough Draft with Reza Aslan Follow Reza @rezaaslan Email us at email@example.com For transcripts and full credits, head to https://www.topic.com/rough-draft-podcastSee acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Ethnic Studies, Revolutionary Politics, and the Third World Liberation Front with Viet Thanh Nguyen
Time To Say Goodbye
Hello! We’re very excited to have Pulitzer Prize winner and Macarthur Genius Grant recipient Viet Thanh Nguyen on the show. There was a lot to discuss and a lengthy conversation that I (Jay) found absolutely fascinating about the role of academia, especially during a time of national protests. A lot of history in this one as well — if you didn’t know about AAPA and Third World Liberation Front, there’s a short primer at the beginning of the episode. 1:05 - A conversation about the promise of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF), a student movement that started at San Francisco State and UC Berkeley in the late sixties and promised an inclusive, solidarity-based activism rooted in anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism. The TWLF fight resulted ethnic studies programs across California and Viet talks about being an ethnic studies student at Cal in the early 90s and gives an assessment of what has happened over the past forty or so years since the establishment of the TWLF and the AAPA (Asian American Political Alliance). 8:00 - Discussion about Viet’s conversation with Pankaj Mishra, which we highly recommend you read. 19:00 - Have Ethnic Studies programs been effective in producing radical thinkers and progressive students? We talk about the early demands of the TWLF, which included a separate school within a school with its own faculty search committee and admissions office. 50:00 - a lengthy discussion about where the focal point of the Asian American identity should lie. Should we talk about immigration and the immigrant experience as much as we do? Or should we think more about where we came from and the effects of American imperialism across Asia? Can Filipinos, Koreans, Cambodians, Vietnamese, and others find common fighting ground in a renewal of “third world” logic? Or are those efforts nullified by the presence of an upwardly mobile, assimilation-driven class of Asian-Americans? Thanks for listening! Jay, Tammy, and Andy This is a public episode. Get access to private episodes at goodbye.substack.com/subscribe
Episode 2: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Kao Kalia Yang & Vu Tran
AWM Author Talks
This week we are pleased to present writers Viet Thanh Nguyen, Kao Kalia Yang, and Vu Tran who’ll discuss their contributions to the anthology The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. This conversation was originally recorded at the American Writers Museum. We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer. Listen to more episodes [...]
Viet Thanh Nguyen, "Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War" (Harvard UP, 2016)
New Books in American Studies
According to Viet Thanh Nguyen, all wars are fought twice: first on the field of battle, and then in the struggles over memory. In Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016) he explores the various ways in which the American War in Vietnam has been remembered and forgotten. But this wide-ranging, erudite, and joyously inter-disciplinary book is more than just a study of how we talk about this war. Professor Nguyen argues that we need to create a new ethics based on a “just memory” that recognizes not only ourselves and our own humanity but includes the humanity of others and also our own inhumanity. Nothing Ever Dies critiques what he terms the “industries” of memory production. As with the actual war which pitted lightly armed guerrilla fighters against the vast American war machine, asymmetry characterizes memory production. Nguyen contrasts the success of Hollywood films such as “Apocalypse Now” in globalizing the American narrative of the war with the more localized efforts of the Vietnamese Communist Party to promote their version of the war through monuments, museums, and massive graveyards. Nothing Ever Dies is a transnational project that engages both the United States of America and north and south Vietnam, but also brings South Korea, Laos, and Cambodia into the discussion. The book combines history, literary and film criticism, and museum studies into a larger philosophical exploration of ethics and a call for peace grounded in justice.While Nothing Ever Dies is an impressive book and was a finalist for the National Book Award for non-fiction, Viet Thanh Nguyen is best known for The Sympathizer. This novel won the 2016 Pulitzer for fiction and a host of other awards. Professor Nguyen, who holds the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and is a Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, was been awarded fellowships from the MacArthur and Guggenheim Foundations in 2017. Importantly, Nothing Ever Dies is a very personal work. The author places his identity as a refugee born in Vietnam but airlifted to the United States of America in 1975 at the center of the text. Growing up in San José, California, he learned about the war that shaped his life through American film and fiction. However, he often felt otherized in these often-racist depictions of the war. Nothing Ever Dies is his contribution to writing diverse Vietnamese experiences into our memory of Vietnam.Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford, 2018). When he’s not quietly reading or happily talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies