Essays

The Forgotten Victims of Agent Orange

This New York Times article, co-authored with Richard Hughes, confronts the lack of recognition and reparations for the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. Phan Thanh Hung Duc, 20, lies immobile and silent, his midsection covered haphazardly by a white shirt with an ornate Cambodian temple design. His mouth is agape and his chest thrusts upward, his… (read more)


The Great Vietnam War Novel Was Not Written by an American

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes on the many Vietnamese-American works ignored by both the American and Vietnamese mainstream. This article was originally published by the…(read more)

In Praise of Doubt and Uselessness

The following article by Viet Thanh Nguyen was originally published by the Los Angeles Times. Almost exactly 20 years ago, I arrived in Los…(read more)

Vietnamese and Vietnamese American Lit: A Primer from Viet Thanh Nguyen

“Sometimes people have said that I give voice to the voiceless Vietnamese. If you know anything about Vietnamese people, you know they are not…(read more)

Viet Thanh Nguyen on Being a Refugee, an American — and a Human Being

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and Vietnam war refugee reflects on American identity. The following article was originally published in the Financial Times. I am…(read more)

Martin Luther King, Jr., on Vietnam—and Today

Martin Luther King, Jr., is best known for his speech “I Have a Dream.” Relatively few people know of his speech “Beyond Vietnam,” delivered…(read more)

Trump Is a Great Storyteller. We Need to Be Better.

Viet published an op-ed in the New York Times about storytelling in the age of Trump. Here is the unedited, 1400-word version. The link…(read more)

Kissinger: The View From Vietnam

One of the saddest ironies of my own history is that the United States might have achieved its goals in Southeast Asia without ever…(read more)

Viet Thanh Nguyen on the Democrats’ Failure and Our Future

This essay by Viet Thanh Nguyen was originally published by the Los Angeles Times. Donald Trump has triumphed, an accomplishment that many, except his…(read more)

The End of the Empire: On Donald Trump’s Victory

This commentary originally appeared in The New York Times on November 9, 2016. Worst-case scenario in the next four years: fascism, a wall, mass…(read more)

The Hidden Scars All Refugees Carry

The following oped by Viet Thanh Nguyen was originally published by The New York Times. Many people have characterized my novel, “The Sympathizer,” as…(read more)

Viet Thanh Nguyen: Winning the Pulitzer Changed the Value of My Book and Myself

The author recalls the dreamlike state in which he wrote his Pulitzer-winning novel The Sympathizer, and wishes for the private joy he felt while writing…(read more)

Reconsidering the Work of a Chinese Immigrant Writer of the 1930s

Viet Thanh Nguyen reviews Hua Hsu’s A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific. Originally posted as a New York Times Book Review…(read more)

The Immigrant’s Fate Is Everyone’s

The following article was originally published in the July 11, 2016 issue of TIME. I am an immigrant. I am also a human being, an…(read more)

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Great American Novels: The Woman Warrior and China Men

Viet Thanh Nguyen reviews Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and China Men. The following article was originally posted by the Los Angeles Times…(read more)

Bob Kerrey and the ‘American Tragedy’ of Vietnam

This article by Viet Thanh Nguyen was posted in the New York Times on June 20, 2016. A version of this op­ed appears in…(read more)