Viet Thanh Nguyen is interviewed on the Brian Lehrer Show, produced by WNYC. Listen to the interview through the audio player or read the full transcript below.
From the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II to the current political call to ban all Muslim immigrants from coming to the United States, in times of crisis, immigrants have to declare their “Americanness” in a way most don’t.
“They have to assert how it is that they belong to this country and what they have done to prove that,” said Viet Thanh Nguyen, professor at USC in English and American Studies and Ethnicity and the author of Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, 2016), and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer (Grove, 2015). He talks about some of the ambivalence in how immigrants view America and we take calls from our immigrant listeners.