Viet Thanh Nguyen

“I was born a citizen and a human being. At four years of age I became something less than human, as least in the eyes of those who do not think of refugees as being human. The month was March, the year 1975, when the northern communist army captured my hometown of Ban Me Thuot in its final invasion of the Republic of Vietnam, a country that no longer exists except in the imagination of its global refugee diaspora of several million people, a country that most of the world remembers as South Vietnam.” – The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives, 2018

Research Questions

“A just memory demands instead a final step in the dialectics of ethical memory – not just the movement between an ethics of remembering one’s own and remembering others, but also a shift toward an ethics of recognition, of seeing and remembering how the inhuman inhabits the human” (Nothing Ever Dies, 19). How does this notion of “just memory” (or any of the other types of memory Nguyen describes in Nothing Ever Dies) appear in The Sympathizer or the stories in The Refugees?

“Resistance and accommodation are actually limited, polarizing options that do not sufficiently demonstrate the flexible strategies often chosen by authors and characters to navigate their political and ethical situations” (A Crisis of Representation,” 4). How does Nguyen employ “flexible strategies” in The Sympathizer or the stories in The Refugees?