Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Publisher Weekly Viet Thanh Nguyen cover of Publisher Weekly August 2023

A Man of Two Faces Tour | Washington DC

An author talk with Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen

Join the Library, Loyalty Bookstores, and the Vietnam Society for an evening with Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen for his new memoir A Man of Two Faces. In conversation with novelist Lysley Tenorio, Nguyen.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing, and a limited number will be given away courtesy of the DC Public Library Foundation. 

About the book:

With insight, humor, formal invention, and lyricism, in A Man of Two Faces Viet Thanh Nguyen rewinds the film of his own life. He expands the genre of personal memoir by acknowledging larger stories of refugeehood, colonization, and ideas about Vietnam and America, writing with his trademark sardonic wit and incisive analysis, as well as a deep emotional openness about his life as a father and a son.

At the age of four, Nguyen and his family are forced to flee his hometown of Ban Mê Thuột and come to the USA as refugees. After being removed from his brother and parents and homed with a family on his own, Nguyen is later allowed to resettle into his own family in suburban San José. But there is violence hidden behind the sunny façade of what he calls AMERICA™. One Christmas Eve, when Nguyen is nine, while watching cartoons at home, he learns that his parents have been shot while working at their grocery store, the SàiGòn Mới, a place where he sometimes helps price tins of fruit with a sticker gun. Years later, as a teenager, the blood-stirring drama of the films of the Vietnam War such as Apocalypse Now throw Nguyen into an existential crisis: how can he be both American and Vietnamese, both the killer and the person being killed? When he learns about an adopted sister who has stayed back in Vietnam, and ultimately visits her, he grows to understand just how much his parents have left behind. And as his parents age, he worries increasingly about their comfort and care, and realizes that some of their older wounds are reopening,

Profound in its emotions and brilliant in its thinking about cultural power, A Man of Two Faces explores the necessity of both forgetting and of memory, the promises America so readily makes and breaks, and the exceptional life story of one of the most original and important writers working today.

About the Speakers:

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the author of The Committed, which continues the story of The Sympathizer, awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, alongside seven other prizes. He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees; the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, a finalist for the National Book Award; and is the editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He lives in Los Angeles.

Lysley Tenorio is the author of the novel The Son of Good Fortune and the story collection Monstress, which was named a book of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Whiting Award, a Stegner fellowship, the Edmund White Award, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Bogliasco Foundation.  His stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Ploughshares, and have been adapted for the stage by The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Ma-Yi Theater in New York City.  Born in the Philippines, he lives in San Francisco, and is a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California. 

Location:

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – Central Library

901 G Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20001

A Man of Two Faces Tour | Washington DC

Date

Oct 22 2023
Event ended

Time

3:00 pm