Essays

Why I Teach

Opinion | Why I Teach – The New York Times Being a good teacher is hard. So is maintaining democracy. Our political leaders should take note. My employer, the University of Southern California, requires me to teach a general education course every year. Although I sometimes resent the obligation, most of the time I am… (read more)


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Close the Curtain on ‘Miss Saigon’

Opinion | Close the Curtain on ‘Miss Saigon’ – The New York Times Why is a musical that perpetuates a Western fantasy of Asians…(read more)

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In Trump’s vision of a white America, immigrants should be grateful and servile

What “go back” really means. Viet Thanh Nguyen writes about the impact of Trump’s “MAGA” slogan on immigrants, refugees, and people of color through…(read more)

In Trump’s vision of a white America, immigrants should be grateful and servile

Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses the meaning and effects of Trump’s recent comments about immigrants in this op-ed for The Washington Post. When Donald Trump…(read more)

Hereafter, Faraway

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes about his refugee experience in this essay for The New Yorker. My eternal scene takes place in a faraway country,…(read more)

VIET THANH NGUYEN: HOW NOT TO BORE YOUR AUDIENCE AT A READING

Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses ways to engage the audience during literary readings in an op-ed for the Literary Hub. CHANNEL OBAMA. PERFORM. DRINK IF…(read more)

College admissions are corrupt because universities are. Here’s how to fix them.

Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses the college admissions scandal and solutions for the future in this op-ed for The Washington Post. The scandal around rich…(read more)

America, Say My Name

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes about his experiences with a Vietnamese name in America in this op-ed for New York Times. LOS ANGELES — What’s…(read more)

The MLK Speech We Need Today Is Not the One We Remember Most

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 speech, “Beyond Vietnam”, and its messages for this article on TIME. Most Americans…(read more)

Why We Struggle to Say ‘I Love You’

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes about the Asian-American family dynamic and struggles in this New York Times Opinions article. For many Asian-Americans, the phrase belongs…(read more)

Victims of War, and Now Victims of the Trump Administration

Viet Thanh Nguyen and Eric Tang discuss the deportation of Vietnamese refugees under the Trump administration in this Opinion piece for the New York…(read more)

I Love America. That’s Why I Have to Tell the Truth About It

Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer, talks about immigration in America and his experiences as a Vietnamese refugee in this essay for TIME. Love it or leave it. Have you heard someone say this? Or have you said it?…(read more)

Wesley Yang and the Search for Asian-American Visibility

Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses Wesley Yang’s collection of essays, The Souls of Yellow Folk, for the New York Times Book Review.  THE SOULS OF…(read more)

Could Asian-Americans Turn Orange County Blue?

Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses Asian-American influence in Orange County for the 2018 midterm elections in this op-ed for New York Times.  When I was…(read more)

True War Stories

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes about the Vietnam War in the special issue of the Asian American Literary Review. Reprinted in Oklahoma Humanities Magazine.  ON…(read more)

Asian-Americans Need More Movies, Even Mediocre Ones

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes an Op-Ed for New York Times about narrative plenitude and Asian-American representation in Hollywood.  If you are Asian-American, you have…(read more)