Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Viet Thanh Nguyen Visits South Korea and holds a Press Conference to honor the Publication of his novels, ‘The Sympathizer’ and ‘The Committed’

Covers from ‘The Sympathizer’ and ‘The Committed’

"The Sympathizer" Korean book cover
"The Committed" Korean book cover

1. KyungHyang Daily

Ideology, Nation, and Race from the Perspective of a Parisian Drug Dealer and Double Spy. Deep Analysis of elements and images in the novel, The Committed. Written by Viet Thanh Nguyen and translated by Heeyong Kim for KyungHyang Daily

Photo Vietnamese refugees arriving in Hong Kong in the late 1970s. For a while, they were called the ‘Boat People’. Source:

Heeyong Kim translates the summary of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Committed, sequel to The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pultizer Prize. Reporter, Kim Jong-mok, writes about the images surrounding the novel and its meanings and relations to Vietnamese history worldwide.

Some of these themes include: ‘Little retaliation of selling drugs’, ‘The hero who continued to enslave the Vietnamese’, ‘The hypocrisy of those living as anti-imperialists in an imperialist country’, and ‘Capitalists, legal criminals who feel no shame in plundering’.

2. Hankook Daily

Hankook Daily | Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of the novel ‘Sympathizer’, “I like Park Chan-wook’s visual style… Expecting dramatization”

To commemorate the publication of the Korean version of ‘The Devoted’, the follow-up to ‘Sympathizer’, Vietnamese-American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen (52), the author, visited Korea. At a press conference held at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 15th, he explained that both novels “focused on narratives that unravel the process of self-justification and justification rather than choosing a certain position.” In a situation where all countries involved in the Vietnam War put their goodwill first, he does not advocate the position of either the United States, France, or South and North Vietnam. It just puts in front of the reader the facts that keep getting forgotten in the complex reality.


JTBC reports about ‘Vietnam’s Forbidden Book’ chosen by Park Chan-wook as his next film… Viet Thanh Nguyen, writer of the agony of the double spy.

In Korea, it became a hot topic when director Park Chan-wook chose the novel <Sympathizer> as his next film. It will be released as a series on HBO next year. A24, which created ‘Buttercup’ and ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, is in charge of production, and actor Robert Downey Jr., famous for ‘Iron Man’, will appear. He takes on all the white roles that appear in the drama and plays ‘one person n’. It is said that it was Director Park’s idea to take on multiple roles at the same time.

4. Seoul Daily

Seoul Daily | ‘Sympathizer’ writer Nguyen “I believe in the directing of excellent storyteller Park Chan-wook”

Meeting with reporters at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 15th, he said, “I am a big fan of Park’s films, and I like ‘Oldboy’ the most.” He smiled, saying, “When I had dinner with directors Sandra Oh and Park in the past, I thought it would be ideal for the two of them to lead and direct a drama, but after three and a half years, my dream has come true.”

5. Joongang Daily

Joongang Daily | Directed by Park Chan-wook, starring Rodaju… The original writer of the movie “It resembles Korea and Vietnam”

At a press conference at the Seoul Press Center on the 15th, Nguyen said, “The time when I was conflicted between my dual identities as a Vietnamese and an American came together and the novel 『Sympathizer』 was born. Born in 1971 during the height of the Vietnam War, he moved to the United States with his family in 1975 after the fall of Saigon.

6. Kookmin Daily

Kookmin Daily | Vietnamese writer who won the Pulitzer Prize “There was a massacre of Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War

At a press conference held at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 15th, Viet Thanh Nguyen said, “I am happy that two novels have been published in Korea.” “These two novels are based on 70 years of Vietnamese history, politics and culture. It is also closely related to my personal history of leaving Vietnam at the age of four and growing up in the United States.”

7. Seoul Economics

Seoul Economics | “Projected into the novel ‘Two Faces of Life’ from a Vietnamese refugee”

He expressed his deep feelings about Korea. “Korea and Vietnam have a lot in common historically. I experienced colonial rule, and the United States had a lot of influence on history. And both countries have a heartbreaking past, such as massacres between the same people. I think that past history has not been properly settled and is still causing division.”

8. Daily Economics

Daily Economics | Pulitzer Prize writer for his first novel ‘Sympathizer’ “Directing Park Chan-wook, it’s a great honor” [Nguyen visit to Korea]

“If I had heard about director Park’s directing before the novel was published, a better novel would have come out. (Laughter) The narrative unfolds from one person’s point of view, and it will never be easy to visually convey it. I’ve seen all of Director Park’s ‘Revenge Trilogy’ and I like ‘Oldboy’ among them. I admire the energy, the political implications, and the surreal feeling in the work.”

9. Asia Economics

Asia Economics | Viet Thanh Nguyen “Visualization of the agony of the double agent in the novel ‘Sympathizer’… Director Park Chan-wook’s trust”

At a press conference for the publication of “The Devoted” held at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 15th, author Viet Thanh Nguyen (52) explained that the novel was not autobiographical, but was based on the feelings of a refugee who chose to go to the United States from Vietnam. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, he immigrated to the United States with his parents. “As a child, I felt like I was spying on my parents as an American at home, and I felt like I was spying on Americans as a Vietnamese outside the home,” he said.

10. Etoday

Etoday | Writer Park Chan-wook’s spy thriller ‘Sympathizer’ “Reflects the sentiment of Vietnamese immigrants living with two minds”

The experience from his personal history made him deeply interested in ‘how to remember history’. That is why I personally visited Korea in 2008 and 2010. It is said that he also visited the War Memorial of Korea in Yongsan, wanting to know how the narratives of Korean soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War were transmitted.

11. Kookmin Daily

Kookmin Daily | “Spies/refugees, perpetrators/victims… I am a two-faced man”

The resurgence of anti-colonialism has to do with immigrants and refugees. Since the 2000s, it seems that the voice representing British and American literature has been passed on to immigrant and multiracial writers. They are sweeping major literary awards as they reconstruct the narrative of colonialism from the point of view of the colonized.

One of the artists representing this trend is Vietnamese-American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen (52).

12. Chosun Daily

Chosun Daily | A Spy has two faces, two hearts… It resembles a dual immigrant identity

“I have two faces, two hearts, like the main character in ‘Sympathizer’, a spy.”

Vietnamese-American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen (52) spoke at a press conference held at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul on the 15th. The author visited Korea to attend the recently opened Seoul International Book Fair. The full-length ‘The Sympathizer’ is his first novel published in the United States in 2016. In the same year, it received a lot of attention by sweeping the Pulitzer Prize and the International Dublin Literary Prize. It is the original work of the HBO drama ‘Sympathizer’, which will be released next year, directed by Park Chan-wook.

13. Dong-A Daily

Dong-A Daily | “My novel ‘Sympathizer’ is full of Park Chan-wook’s favorite themes”

“In 2019, I had dinner with director Park Chan-wook (60) at my house in Los Angeles, USA, and talked about the filming of the feature-length novel ‘Sympathizer’ (2018, Minumsa). It was an unforgettable moment, but it is an honor to finally make it into a drama.”

14. Segye Daily

Segye Daily | Nguyen, who wrote the original drama ‘Sympathizer’ “Park Chan-wook is a great storyteller… Directing honor”

Nguyen, who wrote the original drama ‘Sympathizer’ “Park Chan-wook is a great storyteller… Directing honor”

15. Hankook Economics

Hankook Economics | With two faces, American and Vietnamese… I lived like a spy all my life”

‘Double identity’ is a word that cannot be left out when describing Nguyen. Set right after the Vietnam War, the main character of <Sympathizer> is a mixed-race born to a French father and a Vietnamese mother. It is a ‘double agent’ of North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

16. Herald Economics

Herald Economics | Nguyen “If I knew Park Chan-wook in advance, the novel would have been different”

“When I was writing the novel ‘Sympathizer’, I thought that it would have been better if I had known director Park Chan-wook. Director Park gave me a lot of questions and ideas, and I got the impression that he read my novel very carefully.”

17. YNA

YNA | Novel ‘Sympathizer’ Nguyen “Park Chan-wook is a great storyteller… Firm trust”

“I vividly remember the first time I saw the movie ‘Oldboy’. I was really impressed with the energy, political implications, and surreal atmosphere of this film dealing with the problem of memory. I’ve seen all of the ‘Revenge Trilogy’.”

18. Newsis

Newsis | Viet Thanh Nguyen “Sympathizers, director Park Chan-wook’s directing glory and dream come true”

On the 15th, at the Press Center in Jung-gu, Seoul, he held a press conference to mark the publication of his novels ‘Sympathizer’ and ‘The Devoted’, and revealed that his novels were born in this background of growth.He said, “The novel is a story set against the background of Vietnam’s history, culture, and politics of the past 70 years. Subjects such as war, colonial rule, and racism are inevitably serious and serious, but to make them interesting and enjoyable at the same time, we adopted the spy thriller genre. I wanted to tell a story,” he explained the background of writing.

19. News1

News1 | Viet Thanh Nguyen “I wanted to humorously satirize the war behind my dual identity”

Nguyen visited Korea to commemorate the publication of his novel ‘Sympathizer’ and its follow-up, ‘The Devoted’. This is our third visit after 2008 and 2010.


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