Viet Thanh Nguyen has won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his debut novel, “The Sympathizer.” The award, announced April 18, recognizes distinguished fiction published in book form by an American author.
“The Sympathizer,” which follows a wickedly smart double-agent for South Vietnam, begins at the end of the Vietnam War, moves to Southern California, and eventually winds up on a film set.
Nguyen, who lives in Los Angeles, was born in Vietnam. His family came to the United States as refugees in 1975.
The University of Southern California professor expressed surprise and disbelief at the award. “I double checked with real people in my publisher’s office…” Nguyen shared on Facebook, “and they say that “The Sympathizer” really did win the Pulitzer Prize. Unless this is some cosmic virtual reality trick, I’m stunned.”