Continuing his literary salon, Seth Meyers hosted Pulitzer Prize-winner Viet Thanh Nguyen on Late Night yesterday.
Meyers opens by saying he is a fan of Nguyen’s writing and loved The Sympathizer (Grove Press, April 2015) before it won the Pulitzer. His newest book is a short story collection entitled The Refugees (Grove; OverDrive Sample). Nguyen came to the US with his parents from Viet Nam when he was four years old. He says refugees face the double sorrow of being “unwanted where they come from, unwanted when they arrive.”
The two-part interview, below:
The new book is stocked at Costco, a sure sign, says Nguyen. that he has “made it.” The reviews give further proof:
The Washington Post writes it “couldn’t come at a better time,” and that it is “as impeccably written as it is timed … an important and incisive book written by a major writer with firsthand knowledge of the human rights drama exploding on the international stage — and the talent to give us inroads toward understanding it.”
NPR calls it “an urgent, wonderful collection that proves that fiction can be more than mere storytelling.”
The Guardian says it an “accomplished collection,” continuing it is “With anger but not despair, with reconciliation but not unrealistic hope, and with genuine humour that is not used to diminish anyone, Nguyen has breathed life into many unforgettable characters, and given us a timely book.”
Writing for The New Yorker, Joyce Carol Oates calls it “beautiful and heartrending.”