•  
  •  
 

Authors

First Page

Viet Thanh Nguyen in Conversation with Andrew Lam On October 28, 2017, the Center for Literary Arts of San José State University hosted an evening with MacArthur Fellowship-winning author and scholar Viet Thanh Nguyen, who gave a reading from his Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, The Sympathizer. Afterwards Nguyen was joined on stage at the Hammer Theatre by author and journalist Andrew Lam. Their conversation was followed by a brief question and answer session with the audience. Andrew Lam: I want to preface this by saying that I’ve known him since I was a teenager because I was his brother’s friend. Even back then you were reading Jane Austen and wanted to be a writer. Viet Nguyen: Absolutely AL: And here he is. So when you won the MacArthur genius award a few days ago—at least when the news was announced—Facebook kind of lit up, and people were writing to you. I just want to say on behalf—if I can say I can represent anybody—of the Vietnamese American community, if we can have a group of people to represent—to congratulate you publicly. [Loud applause from the audience.] It’s a lot of money. [Audience laughs.] Vietnamese—we talk about money. Lam and Nguyen simultaneously: We talk about money. VN: I didn’t tell my dad. My dad called me and said, “You won $625,000! People in church told me about it.” So I knew that would be more meaningful for him when Vietnamese people gossip about money. AL: Right. Because it was like, “Oh my god, I know he’s going to win the Nobel Prize next, and how much he’s going to get?” And I had to research, and I’m thinking it is like $1.2 [million]. Dude, that’s also a lot of money, so work on that. VN: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. AL: But I think it’s kind of ironic in the sense that here we are at a time of really troubled history of our contemporary America, while the political

Document Type

Interview

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.