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“The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The sympathizerWinner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer tells the story of a man of two minds, half-French half-Vietnamese, a communist double agent, divided between the American and Vietnamese cultures, between ideologies and, most important, between his two blood brothers from childhood: Man, a communist, and Bon, a patriot who doesn’t know that the narrator and Man are communists.   After the fall of Saigon, the narrator is sent to Los Angeles with the anti-communists and best friend Bon, while informing Man of their plans.  As the story progress, we understand that the book is a confession of a man conflicted between ideology and friendship.

The book is very well-written, with vivid evocations of the weather, culture, people and atmosphere of wartime Saigon, and the Vietnamese refugee groups in America and Asia after the war.  It is a gripping psychological thriller.

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