DETAILS AND HOW TO WATCH: This is an online rebroadcast of Viet Thanh Nguyen live event as part of the 2023/2024 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. This online event will be accessible from the Inprint website. Details on how to access the reading will be provided to season subscribers. Those who purchase general admission tickets for this rebroadcast event will be provided the viewing link on their Eventbrite email receipt in the “Additional Information” section.
Viet Thanh Nguyen will read from his new memoir A Man of Two Faces, followed by an on-stage conversation with Houston writer Bao-Long Chu. The evening will conclude with a book sale and signing. The event is presented as part of the 2023/2024 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series.
VIET THANH NGUYEN, a MacArthur “genius” fellow, has “a voice that shakes the walls of the old literary comfort zone” (The New Yorker). His debut novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize, was a New York Times bestseller, and is being adapted into TV series by HBO. His second novel The Committed, his short story collection The Refugees, and his nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, explore themes of the Vietnam War, colonization, and anti-Asian racism. Joyce Carol Oates calls Nguyen “one of the great chroniclers of displacement.” Nguyen’s other honors include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
He joins us to read from and talk about his latest book, A Man of Two Faces, “a triumphant memoir that sears through the fog of American amnesia…a vulnerable and scorching mirror to self and to nation” (Cathy Park Hong). Focusing on Nguyen’s life coming to the U.S. as a refugee during the Vietnam War, losing his parents in a grocery store shooting, and meeting his adopted sister for the first time, Kirkus Reviews calls it a “kaleidoscopic memoir…. Deeply personal and intensely political…. Lyrical and biting, by one of our leading writers.” According to Susan Straight, “This book belongs with James Baldwin, Claude Brown, Maxine Hong Kingston, and other writers whose memoirs take apart ‘the American Dream’ with laser precision.” Nguyen is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California.
Originally from Vietnam, Bao-Long Chu‘s passion for writing led him to the MFA creative writing program at University of Houston. He has written and presented extensively on writing pedagogy, the connection between art and the refugee experience, and nonprofit programming. Long’s poems and essays have been published in several anthologies, including The New Anthology of American Poetry: Postmodernisms 1950-Present and From Both Sides Now: The Poetry of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath. His libretto for the opera Bound, composed by Huang Ruo, premiered in Houston in 2014 and in New York in 2019.