December 7, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Viet Thanh Nguyen brings “The Committed” to the L.A. Times Book Club

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen joins the Los Angeles Times Book Club to discuss “The Committed,” the sequel to his 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Sympathizer.”

Nguyen will be in conversation at 7 tonight with Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda. The book talk is free and will be live streaming on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Readers can share questions in advance by sending emails to

Nguyen’s debut novel, “The Sympathizer,” introduced his unnamed protagonist, a half-Vietnamese, half-French communist double agent navigating life, love, loyalty and espionage in Los Angeles after the fall of Saigon.

In the sequel, his narrator is “still a man of two faces and two minds.” But he is now also “a revolutionary without a revolution” as the story moves to Paris. Like “The Sympathizer,” “The Committed” strides genres. Nguyen’s literary thriller is part political novel, part historical novel and part comic novel.

“I thought that there would be a sweet spot for readers who would be willing to grapple with serious ideas and be entertained at the same time,” Nguyen said in an interview ahead of his book club visit.

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen at home.

(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

A USC professor, Nguyen is the author of six books, including “The Refugees,” a bestselling short story collection, and “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War,” a National Book Award finalist in nonfiction.

“The Committed” is the March selection of The Times’ community book club, which debuted in spring 2019 to build on the annual Festival of Books and to keep the storytelling and conversations going year-round. Every month, we share a book club selection, publish stories exploring the topic and invite everyone to read along. We then host a community book club evening with the featured author and invite readers to join that too.

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