Viet Thanh Nguyen Common Context Lecture: Sanctuary
Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel THE SYMPATHIZER and the 2017 short story collection THE REFUGEES, participates in a discussion that explores the idea of sanctuary.
Date & Time:
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
O'Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium (building #5 on campus map)
We are thrilled to welcome Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer, the bestselling short story collection The Refugees, and other works. Nguyen will read selections from his books and explore the concept of sanctuary, which is the English Department's common context theme for Fall 2017.
This lecture is sponsored by generous support from the Diversity Activities Board, with additional support from Student Diversity and Inclusion Services, the American Culture & Difference minor, and the departments of English, History, Justice and Peace Studies, and Political Science.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Nguyen was born in Ban Me Thuot, Viet Nam (now spelled Buon Me Thuot after 1975, a year which brought enormous changes to many things, including the Vietnamese language). He came to the United States as a refugee in 1975 with his family and was initially settled in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, one of four such camps for Vietnamese refugees. From there, he moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he lived until 1978.
Seeking better economic opportunities, his parents moved to San Jose, California, and opened one of the first Vietnamese grocery stores in the city. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, San Jose had not yet been transformed by the Silicon Valley economy, and was in many ways a rough place to live, at least in the downtown area where Viet’s parents worked. He commemorates this time in his short story “The War Years” (TriQuarterly 135/136, 2009).
After high school, he briefly attended UC Riverside and UCLA before settling on UC Berkeley, where he graduated with degrees in English and ethnic studies and then went on to complete a Ph.D. in English. He is currently the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. For additional information about Nguyen, please visit his website.
Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Other honors include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, a Gold Medal in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association. His short story collection, Refugees, was released in February 2017 and has been ranked high on a number of best seller lists.
His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction) and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America.
All four titles will be available for sale in the OEC lobby (cash and major credit cards accepted) and Nguyen will participate in a book signing immediately following his talk.
Parking (available for $1/hour after 4pm)
Anderson Parking Facility--located at the corner of Cretin Ave. and Grand Ave.
Morrison Parking Ramp--located beneath Morrison Residence Hall, visitors parking in the Morrison ramp should enter campus at the intersection of Selby Ave. and Finn St. Follow the drive aisle south , under the skyway, toward the stadium. Take a hard right at the end of the drive aisle. The visitor ramp entrance is the eastern entrance beneath the residence hall.
McNeely Parking Ramp--visitor parking is available at the McNeely Ramp only after 4:00 pm and on weekends. The McNeely Ramp entrance is located within parking lot K, underneath McNeely Hall.
Anderson Student Center Parking Garage--visitor parking is available at the Anderson Student Center Parking Garage only after 4:00 pm and on weekends. The Anderson Student Center Parking Garage entrance can be accessed from the Anderson Student Center turnaround off of Cretin Avenue.