“I can buy this for a dollar at the market.”, “Look around,” Mr. Ly said, his tone impatient. New York, New York 10003, (212) 420-8585, To invite Viet to do a reading or lecture, please contact Kevin Mills of the Tuesday Agency, 132 1/2 East Washington What was strangest to Phuong was seeing her father joke and chat with the tourists. He was a man of rare praise, except when it came to his first trio of children. Then, embraced by clammy weather once they stepped off the air-conditioned bus at Ben Dinh, Vivien could only mutter that this was not exactly her idea of fun. Vivien tucked away the hair and pointed toward the roller coaster climbing slowly into view, an upside-down caterpillar with dozens of human arms wiggling in the air. This Study Guide consists of approximately 79 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Refugees. It would be best, she thought, to do what needed to be done outdoors, and so she placed a stool by the living room gate and a tin bucket on the pavement of the alley. Some boy’s going to be very lucky to see you in those.”, “My mother and father would never let me wear these.” Phuong inspected herself from head to toe with the hand mirror her mother kept hanging from a nail in the wall. For review copies or bookstore events, contact publicity@groveatlantic.com for The Sympathizer or The Refugees and Margaux Leonard of Harvard University Press for Nothing Ever Dies. He will be presenting on his academic work or, at the literary events, reading from and talking about his most recent books: the novel The Sympathizer (2015), the cultural history Nothing Ever Dies (2016), the short story collection The Refugees (2017), and the children’s book Chicken of the… (read more), Viet Thanh Nguyen joins the Pulitzer Prize board as its first Vietnamese-American member. Still, she could not decline, as her manager had made clear, and so she would force herself to smile and tilt her head, a trellis of hair as black and silky as her trousers falling over her shoulder. Phuong’s namesake, for example, was seven years older, fifteen centimeters taller, twenty kilos heavier, and, from the photographs included with the letters, in possession of fairer, clearer skin; whiter, straighter teeth; and hair, clothing, shoes, and makeup that only became ever more fashionable as she graduated from a private girls’ school, then from an elite college, followed by medical school and then a residency in Chicago. “I’ll find a job. After she dropped the photo into the bucket, she watched it curl up and shrivel, remembering how Vivien had approached her after she took the picture and tried to make amends. I wanted to show you a good time. We’re all the same to them, Phuong realized, with a mix of anger and shame—small, charming, and forgettable. I’ve got to pay off four credit cards and my student loans and hope my house won’t be taken from me.”, “I won’t have time to worry about a little sister.” Now it was Vivien who seized Phuong’s hands with her own tear-dampened ones. With their hoods over their heads, the only visible parts of her father’s and sister’s bodies were their pale, triangular faces, two white petals floating on lily pads of neon green. Literary, translation, and film rights are handled by Nat Sobel … President Clinton had come the year before, his much-celebrated visit reassuring her mother that Vivien’s return would be a safe one, especially when armed with a US passport and dollar bills. Leave a comment, “Fatherland” was originally published in Narrative Magazine, Spring 2011, where it was a prize winner in the Winter fiction contest. New York, New York 10003, (212) 420-8585, To invite Viet to do a reading or lecture, please contact Kevin Mills of the Tuesday Agency, 132 1/2 East Washington Foreigners that they were, they could not tell the difference between a Communist and a man the Communists had exiled to a New Economic Zone. A stupid reason, isn’t it?”, “Where’s all the money coming from?” Phuong could not tabulate how much her sister had spent, but she knew it was in the thousands of dollars. It was translated by Nguyễn Nguyệt Cầm  on Damau.org on…(read more), December 5, 2020 He wore a short-sleeved white shirt, gray slacks, and polished brown leather shoes, whereas at home he typically lounged in shorts and perhaps an undershirt. The community celebration offers music, dance, art, speaker series,… (read more), Viet Thanh Nguyen “You don’t have to be a doctor to sponsor me.”. “A secret.” When Phuong turned her head, she could see into Vivien’s ear, the canal small and dark. He sat on the couch and slit the envelope carefully, using one of the few relics from his past he had managed to keep, a silver letter opener with an ivory handle. At the center of the park was a lake the size of a saucer, paddleboats floating like crumbs on its surface. Mrs. Ly cooed over the spectacle, but Hanh and Phuc rolled their eyes and asked Vivien if the next destination could be the Ferris wheel, rotating slowly above the waterslides. Upgrade to A + Download this LitChart! Told in third-person, past tense, "The Other Man" is a short story about an 18-year-old refugee from Vietnam named Liem who arrived in San Fransisco in the fall of 1975 to be sponsored by a middle-aged British man, Parrish Coyne. Vivien did not seem to appreciate their father’s special regard for her, or her fortune in even being a tourist on this day, the boys left behind at school and Phuong’s mother busy at work. I looked out the window of the airplane until I couldn’t see the country anymore, she wrote. Then she slipped into bed after Vivien, and lying there, her arm linked with Vivien’s arm, she could feel her sister’s gift endowing their relationship with even more intimacy and trust. While it had taken Vivien twenty-seven years to mail her first letter home, it took her only a month to send the second missive. You’re not falling in love, you just want to love him.”, “You know what my mother told me when I said I was going to Viet Nam?” Vivien paused. “All my friends found jobs at the park so we could meet boys.”, “Did you find a boyfriend?” Phuong leaned a shoulder against her sister’s arm. He will be presenting on his academic work or, at the literary events, reading from and talking about his most recent books: the novel The Sympathizer (2015), the cultural history Nothing Ever Dies (2016), the short story collection The Refugees (2017), and the children’s book Chicken of the… (read more), Viet Thanh Nguyen joins the Pulitzer Prize board as its first Vietnamese-American member. My sewing machine. My mother and my stepfather do not own a house in the suburbs. 8 pages at 400 words per page) View a FREE sample. “I can get used to this.”, The guests at the neighboring table rose, and on the way out two of them paused beside Phuong, the brunette taking a photograph of the musicians strumming their zithers. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Photo: Amazon) Genre: Short story. By Viet Thanh Nguyen Author: Viet was born in Buon Me Thuot, Vietnam. He is the author of The Sympathizer, which was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction alongside seven other prizes.He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees, the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, a finalist for the National Book Award, and is the editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced. . After the Americans abandoned us and the Communists sent me to the labor camp, we lived on roots and manioc. The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen - I'd Love You to Want Me summary and analysis. The suitcase had been loaded with gifts from Vivien and her mother, from jeans and shirts to medicines and makeup, even shampoo and conditioner that had been bottled in the United States and were hence more valuable than the same brand bottled in a local plant. USC PAM Event: Southeast Asian Refugee Narratives, December 9, 2020 The Refugees is a 2017 short story collection by Viet Thanh Nguyen. “So I thought I’d come here. She works for it as a beautician.”, “Because you all wanted to know how much I made a month, and what I paid on my mortgage, and how much my car cost. By nine the next morning she was alone in the house, the boys gone to school, her parents at work. For review copies or bookstore events, contact publicity@groveatlantic.com for The Sympathizer or The Refugees and Margaux Leonard of Harvard University Press for Nothing Ever Dies. In the foyer, an attendant had handed them polyester parkas, hooded, knee length, and in neon hues of yellow, pink, orange, and green. “What for?” Phuong said, tossing the letter onto the table. Department of English In this short story, ghosts, memories, and stories become tightly bound together. On a billboard outside were brightly colored photos depicting glacial facsimiles of the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and other manmade wonders of the world, lit in a rainbow of neon. “I’d rather be in a shopping mall or a museum, but even the museums don’t have air-conditioning here.”, “Father wants you to see him at work,” Phuong said patiently. “There’s something I’ve always wanted to know.” When their father looked up, Vivien said, “Why give your children with your next wife our names?”, This was the question Phuong had never asked, fearing the answer she always suspected, that she and her brothers were no more than regrets born into flesh. Struggling with distance learning? While Phuong wore gloves extending to her upper arms and nylons underneath her jeans, her sister wore brief shorts and a T-shirt that exposed her bra straps and the waistband and thong of her panties, which today were lavender. If I stay here I’ll marry some boy with no future and live with his family and have two children too soon and sleep in a room where I can touch both walls at the same time. Instead they seemed fascinated, raising their cameras as he lifted the board to show the narrow, dark entrance. Dazzling neon lights in the same spectrum of colors as the parkas illuminated the sculptures, the scurrying crowds, and a pair of long chutes, also carved from ice, down which shrieking children slid. “They’re just like butterflies,” she said in an Australian accent, squinting at the image on her camera. “Here, guerrillas live for years and attack Americans anytime.” The tourists were almost all Americans, but this history did not seem to offend them. “Or you didn’t love him?”, “It’s easy for you to love him.” Vivien sighed. It is Nguyen's first published short story collection and his first book after winning the Pulitzer Prize for The Sympathizer Publication history. After driving the bumper cars at Hanh and Phuc’s request, Mrs. Ly insisted on visiting the Japanese orchid garden. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354 They live in a condo in West Tulsa. Iowa City, Iowa 52240, (319) 338-5640 or kevin@tuesdayagency.com. He often compared Phuong to her absent namesake, which had cultivated in Phuong both a sense of yearning for this sister and also some undeniable jealousy. You don’t even want to know what I was doing when I was twenty-three.”. “All the dinners and tickets? Vivien’s shins and thighs were studded with the pale bumps of fresh bites and the red kernels of fermenting ones. I can’t imagine you in those granny things you have.”, For a moment, Phuong hesitated. Their father loved Vivien more than her. Photographs from that time showed a dapper man with pomaded hair and a Clark Gable mustache. Phuong was the eldest of these younger children, and for all her twenty-three years she had believed that her father’s other children were much more blessed. ISBN-13: 9780802124944 Summary Winner, 2016 Pulitizer Prize Winner, 2016 Edgar Award A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Leave a comment, “A Correct Life” was originally published in Best New American Voices, 2007 edition, pages 97 – 117. Viet Thanh Nguyen 404D Taper Hall Department of English University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354 Email. Struggling with distance learning? When the attendant opened the door, their father was waiting, disposable camera held to his eye, his wife standing behind him with the boys. Viet Thanh Nguyen. And Viet Thanh Nguyen drives that point home brilliantly.”―Mekong Review “A collection of short stories that span [Nguyen’s] 20-year struggle to earn the title of ‘writer.’”―Mother Jones “Did you know that when she came to the States, she told the government she was twenty-five?”. Hers was the expression that older people of an earlier generation usually adopted as they stood before the camera, picture taking a rare and ceremonious occasion reserved for weddings and funerals. But now, holding the photograph as she sat on the stool, she could focus on its details. Phuong had hoped for enthusiasm and would have settled for reluctance, confusion, or condescension, but she was not prepared for the panic on her sister’s face. For the best visual…(read more), Posted on February 19, 2011 | She refilled his glass from the bottle of Australian merlot and said, “I left it blank on my schedule. The roller coaster plunged down the tracks, the passengers screaming. In the occasional dispatches sent by Vivien’s mother, a picture had emerged of an independent young woman, the unmarried pediatrician who had backpacked solo through western Europe and vacationed in Hawaii, the Bahamas, Rio. In this collection, Viet Thanh Nguyen begins to assemble one.” Her first glimpse of Vivien at the airport only confirmed the appropriateness of such a movie star’s name for the young woman who paused at the terminal’s glass gates—her eyes hidden behind enormous sunglasses, her lips slightly parted in a glossy pout—pushing a cart loaded with her own weight in crimson luggage. One exhibition hall soon caught Phuong’s attention, its curious English name being the Ice Lantern. 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