Congratulations to author Viet Thanh Nguyen for winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his debut novel, The Sympathizer. The Pulitzer committee praised The Sympathizer saying the book is “a layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a ‘man of two minds’ — and two countries, Vietnam and the United States.” The Guardian points out that while the novel was an early success, it was largely overlooked in literary discussions this past year. A spy novel in many regards, the book follows a double agent for South Vietnam at the end the Vietnam War, moving to Los Angeles as the narrative unfolds as a thriller/satire. In our review of The Sympathizer last year, Alisha Gorder writes: “With his commanding and consistently authentic style, Nguyen inserts himself into what has been a predominately US-centric conversation and shakes up our traditional way of thinking about the Vietnam War. Nguyen, like the remarkable narrator he has so carefully constructed, reminds us that there are always two sides and helps us to see both.” We’re thrilled to see a debut win such a notable award. Congratulations, Viet Thanh Nguyen!
In other Pulitzer news, author Kelly Link was a finalist for the award for her story collection Get In Trouble. David Naimon, host of the popular podcast Between the Covers, remarked: “Lamenting the ways SFF isn’t looked at as literature, Ursula K. Le Guin once said about China Mieville that, ‘When he wins the Booker, the whole silly hierarchy will collapse, and literature will be much the better for it.’ It kind of feels like Kelly Link being a Pulitizer Prize finalist is the beginnings of that hierarchy collapse.” Indeed.