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The Sympathizer: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

The Hachette Essentials edition of 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. Destined to become a modern classic

The Hachette Essentials series comprises a collection of titles that are regarded as modern classics. A carefully and lovingly curated selection of distinctive, ground-breaking fiction and non-fiction titles published since 1950. Timeless. Relevant. Passionate. Unified as a series - distinctive as books. A good book is great. A great book is essential.


*** WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016***
WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL 2016
WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION 2016

'A fierce novel written in a refreshingly high style and charged with intelligent rage' Financial Times

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 bold, artful and globally minded reimagining of the Vietnam war . . . THE SYMPATHIZER is an excellent literary novel, and one that ends, with unsettling present-day resonance, in a refugee boat where opposing ideas about intentions, actions and their consequences take stark and resilient human form' the Guardian

'Beautifully written and meaty'
Claire Messud

'[A] remarkable debut novel . . . In its final chapters, THE SYMPATHIZER becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet'
New York Times

'This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War ... Nguyen's darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we've rarely seen'
Oprah.com (Oprah's Book Club Suggestions)

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Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen is the author of the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. The Sympathizer has won numerous awards, including the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. He teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

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