VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, one of the essays in The Displaced is by Reyna Grande, who came as an undocumented immigrant. ARIEL DORFMAN: That whole idea of the exotic, of that they’re different. ", "I think of all the routes of emigration taken by refugees like us, routes that have been carved into memory, into family stories. Ariel Dorfman, best-selling author, playwright, poet, activist, new book is Darwin’s Ghosts, a novel, before that, a book of essays, Homeland Security Ate My Speech: Messages from the End of the World. ARIEL DORFMAN: Each time—each time, from that day, that face appears over and over and over again. ARIEL DORFMAN: Right. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). ARIEL DORFMAN: So, you know, in the 19th century, as colonialism rose all over the world, and Europe expanded, very, very drastically, not everybody could go and visit these countries and see these exotic “savages,” these natives. The community celebration offers music, dance, art, speaker series,… (read more), Viet Thanh Nguyen ", "It doesn’t matter whether you were a physician in Bosnia or a goat herder in the Congo: what matters is that a thousand little anchors once moored you to the world. Viet Nguyen, called “one of our great chroniclers of displacement” (Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker), brings together writers originally from Mexico, Bosnia, Iran, Afghanistan, Soviet Ukraine, Hungary, Chile, Ethiopia, and others to make their stories heard. I’m just saying, the important thing is that this intervention of the Russians in the U.S. election should not be only a case of lamentation about, oh, how terrible this is, oh. Email, 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, Literary, translation, and film rights are handled by Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates, 146 East 19 Street ARIEL DORFMAN: I find it—I find it exhilarating, but I’m a bit tired, I must tell you, because I’m a bit older than Arundhati—I’m considerably older than you are, right?—and I’ve been doing this for a very long time. ‘Caravans’ coming.”. In so doing he gives ordinary Westerners a heart-wrenching insight into the uprooted lives led in their midst…the collection succeeds in demonstrating that this dispersed community in some ways resembles other nations. ", "They had been mere children before the meal, playing a game I was not particularly interested in, but after that morning glory meal, they became the warriors of my childhood in Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. Reyna Grande AMY GOODMAN: Last night, I heard you in conversation at the New York Public Library, Viet, speaking with Arundhati Roy, who was our guest yesterday, the great writer from India. And, you know, it’s a Western import, but they’ve made it their own. And so, this was the environment that I grew up in. "I was once a refugee, although no one would mistake me for being a refugee now. “Now, America, You Know How Chileans Felt.” We’re going to talk about that in a minute. So, a lot of my work is not just about the Vietnam War, but about situating the Vietnam War in a much longer history of warfare, whether it’s from the Vietnamese perspective or from the American perspective, where I see the Vietnam War as just being an episode in a long history of American intervention overseas—Philippines, Korea, Japan, China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam. Viet Thanh Nguyen is a literary scholar and fiction writer crafting a more nuanced portrait of the Vietnam War and exploring the myriad ways that … Copy may not be in its final form. Now, if we’re privileged enough to have a voice of our own, we try to find a way of creating a certain space for those voices—right?—so those voices can be heard. —The Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Together, the stories share similar threads of loss and adjustment, of the confusion of identity, of wounds that heal and those that don’t, of the scars that remain.“ It’s called Darwin’s Ghosts. So I just owe thanks to some incredible teachers, when I was 4 or 5 or 6, who taught me English. English wasn’t even your first language. I think that until we—until Americans deal—and I feel myself an American in that sense, very proudly so, as a Chilean American, Argentine American—I feel I’m a Vietnamese American, I feel these are all the possibilities. This is the first time the two of you are meeting. Viet Thanh Nguyen Although more immigrant than refugee, Grande makes helpful distinctions between the two modes of entry into a new country; … His latest book is called The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). And true justice, when it comes to speech, would be when we don’t have voiceless people, not when we have more voices for the voiceless. And we already had this conversation when we were editing that book, right? These writers explore and … After an extensive nominating process, the board chooses the winners from a list of finalists in each category and may additionally give a… (read more), Viet Thanh Nguyen gives a keynote speech at the “Transcendients Community Celebration: Challenging Borders” for the Japanese American Nation Museum The Transcendients Community Celebration: Challenging Borders, a free one-day event, kicks off on Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Japanese American National Museum. June 21, 2018 V iet Thanh Nguyen’s The Displaced collects essays by refugee writers about refugee lives. And for them, the war hasn’t ended either. (function() { var scribd = document.createElement("script"); scribd.type = "text/javascript"; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = "https://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js"; var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })(); "The book is being published at a time when discourse around refugees has shifted distressingly in the Trump era, with new caps on refugee settlement being instituted and immigration bans remaining clear policy positions.” ARIEL DORFMAN: There are millions of wonderful stories out there. In The Displaced, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, himself a refugee, brings together a host of prominent refugee writers to explore and illuminate the refugee experience. So that—you know, he did not take the most famous, let’s say, refugees. AMY GOODMAN: Maybe a way to convince President Drumpf to try to stop his efforts at building this wall is to say, “You’re going to be keeping all these refugees in.”. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). . Do you each have a question for each other? And I, you know, grew up going to these weddings, where you would always hear Vietnamese, French and English-language pop and rock songs. He is also the editor of a new collection titled “The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives.” We are also joined by the Chilean-American writer Ariel Dorfman, who has been described as one of the greatest Latin American novelists. So, in order to leave the camp, you had to have a sponsor. In Guatemala, the get rid of Árbenz, who was a democratically elected president, and it ended up, millions of Mayan Indians being killed. Viet Thanh Nguyen on trauma, displacement, and identifying as a refugee Pulitzer prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen is the guest on this episode of Displaced, and talks to Grant and Ravi about his … Copyright © 2018 - Abrams Press, An Imprint of ABRAMS, *Excerpt from the recording THE DISPLACED: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives by Viet Thanh Nguyen, reprinted under a license arrangement originating with Brilliance Publishing, Inc., www.brilliancepublishing.com. Your email address will not be published. If they formed their own country, it would be the world’s 24th largest—bigger than South Africa, Spain, Iraq or Canada.”. The editing is by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanah Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam before the fall of South Vietnam … I sometimes came into the kitchen to find him eating butter. But they’re the—again, corporate America just doesn’t hear in Vietnamese. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, he and his family fled to the United States. A refugee is an official classification. Monuments Project: Expanding the American Story, Catch Viet at one of these appearances in the coming months and say hello! Now, the issue is that if we get wrapped up in a domestic discussion about Obama versus Drumpf, we forget that President Obama himself also tends to represent some of the worst instincts of the American character overseas, in terms of the continuing exertion of American imperial power. And so, to call some of these people refugees is an important political move to illuminate why it is that the United States might have some moral, ethical and political responsibility towards them. And as a writer, what I like is to take those voices, that are not voiceless—they speak very strongly—the faces of those people, and bring them into the country and put them inside our own dreams and find out what happens. AMY GOODMAN: You’re talking about that other September 11th, 1973. Refugees are a very different problem, if you want to call them that. And my memories begin with being taken away from my parents. I’m often called an immigrant writer. And those of us who are writers are put in a very—you know, writing about Vietnamese people or any other minority population, are put in a very difficult situation, because, obviously, we just want to be writers, we want to tell our stories, but the media, if we become hot, will cast us as the voice for the voiceless. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). So it turns out that this is an enormous strength and wonder of the country. Joseph Kertes He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. So, for example, this caravan of immigrants has—and refugees, has come up from Honduras and Guatemala, El Salvador, as well. There’s a gentleness that we have to find in our relationship. And there’s only one place in the world where every Latin American food can be found in one place, and that’s the United States. And for many of these people, the war remains a defining moment of their generation. —The Economist, “…an incisive and heartbreaking exploration of the refugee crisis…” You know, it doesn’t stop there. They did terrible things to us. Viet, let us begin with you. Unlike him, I will never be a stranger to my children. The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Livesat BookCon Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, the editor of The Displaced, brings together a host of prominent refugee writers including Thi Bui and Joseph Azam to explore and illuminate the refugee experience. Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). But this is the hymn that people would sing in the streets of Santiago as they were being beaten by the police, saying, “We dream of a world where someday we will all be brothers, we will all be sisters,” right? Explain. Why would you think you’d get anywhere here? AMY GOODMAN: In your book The Displaced, you write in the introduction, “I was once a refugee, although no one would mistake me for being a refugee now. VIET THANH NGUYEN: I’m the Aerol Arnold chair of English, which does not mean I’m the actual chair of the department, thank God. The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives | Viet Thanh Nguyen | download | B–OK. © 1997-2020 Viet Thanh Nguyen All Rights Reserved. Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Vietnamese American novelist and academic whose books include The Refugees, Nothing Ever Dies, Race and Resistance, and a new edited collection, The Displaced, alongside his best-selling, Pulitzer Prize winning book The Sympathizer.Nguyen, University Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of … And my memories really start after we make it to the United States and we were put in one of four refugee camps in this country. Marina Lewycka Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). ", "What is certain. He has written the novels The Refugees and The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards. Even if we remain a bunch of ordinary Iranians, sometimes bitter or confused. VIET THANH NGUYEN: No, it wasn’t my first language. I’ve met many Americans of the generation of the war, whether they were soldiers or antiwar protesters or just people observing on TV. You write, “To become a refugee is to know, inevitably, that the past is not only marked by the passage of time, but by loss—the loss of loved ones, of countries, of identities, of selves. ", "More than one hundred policemen lined the roads along our house that night; they shut the streetlights and waited on the dark pavements, some of them in sniper positions in the nearby banyan trees, for my father to come home. And you say, “refugees are the zombies of the world, the undead who rise from dying states to march or swim toward our borders in endless waves. So you can say that, in a sense, the past—and some terrible crime has been committed against the man who is in that photograph, that so-called savage. And I feel that my time has come now to write the novels, especially—I mean, Darwin’s Ghost is a love novel. 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 VIET THANH NGUYEN: They’re oftentimes in the media of the local communities. Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. ARIEL DORFMAN: Viet, you know, one of the things that I’ve always said is, “I’m not the voice of the voiceless. Then we went to Chile. Viet Thanh Nguyen (born March 13, 1971) is a Vietnamese-American novelist. —The Millions. You’re going to have to face what was done in your name a hundred years ago,” and done in France, done in Berlin. But this was—these were human zoos. Meaning—no, meaning there was an enormous amount of repression inside Russia itself in order to save itself from this invasion. So the war wasn’t over for Americans either. It stayed with him for the rest of his life. AMY GOODMAN: I mean, when we were together last night at Barnes & Noble, just down the street is the Museum of Natural History, where—. Along these paths are friends lost, debts that can never be repaid, kindnesses that can’t possibly be returned, promises and hopes broken, slights and affronts that are hard to forget or say aloud, places of refuge filled with people who bravely come together from all corners, moving from place to place, looking for safety, for community, for home. Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. University of Southern California And some of those voices, I had no idea that had existed even. ARIEL DORFMAN: —as a reaction to that. I had to follow him. And I insist on that, because I think it’s so important for people who are—who have been refugees to assert these kinds of identities, so we can continue to talk about the difference between refugees and immigrants, and the necessity to empathize with refugees, which is, I think, very important for both former refugees and writers to do. AMY GOODMAN: You have related—after the election of Drumpf, you related it to the CIA-backed coup that took out the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende back in 1973. It is your duty to answer us, even if we don’t give you sugary success stories. Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced, a powerful dispatch from the individual lives behind current headlines, with proceeds to support the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Nguyen works to defy stereotypes that refugees have one singular experience through Mrs. Hoa’s and the boy’s mother’s differing attitudes on how to view this guerilla army. And when I wrote The Sympathizer, I really wanted to incorporate a lot of the music that I heard into the novel. What do we do with those people who have been hurt by our ancestors? Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences, and the result is The Displaced… His latest book is a novel. ", "You realize every day is a lesson in America, the real America, the violent one that never protected you. And they’ve made their own industries, right? ARIEL DORFMAN: To Tommy, for instance, right, yeah. A year earlier, nearly 40,000 refugees entered during that same period—four times more. VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, you know, it’s really interesting for me to interview people like Arundhati Roy and then talk to Ariel Dorfman and realize—it’s very inspirational that people have been carrying this on for years and years and years. And I think what’s interesting is how you have turned that English—let me ask you this: How is your English different from the typical American English that we read? Your browser does not support the audio element. Lev Golinkin I mean, here you are, chair of English, comparative literature, American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. It’s a great honor to have you with us. Then we should find out what our role, the role of the United States, has been in overthrowing Iran—I mean, everywhere that they’ve intervened. How do we deal with that? Dorfman, who teaches at Duke University, has just published a new novel, “Darwin’s Ghosts,” and a new collection of essays titled “Homeland Security Ate My Speech.” He also contributed an essay to “The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives.”. And last night I asked Arundhati Roy, “Is it exhausting to be a writer who’s constantly engaged and committed?” And she said, “No, it’s exhilarating.” And I thought, “That’s a great answer.” And I want to pose that to you: Do you find it exhausting or exhilarating to be in your situation? These essays reveal moments of uncertainty, resilience in the face of trauma, and a reimagining of identity, forming a compelling look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge. In our case, it was Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. Drumpf has forced me to write about the unique situation of belonging in two cultures, in that sense. I now get to be the parent who stays. And so, that does lead to a relationship to the language that is playful, because I want to be able to look at the language from the inside as well as the outside, as an alien from the language, and, that way, to maybe possibly do something different with the language that other people who are completely native in it may not see. It hosts a collection of … Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. We are joined by two remarkable refugees. AMY GOODMAN: From Burma to Syria, from Thailand to Bosnia. These people were kidnapped from their native lands in Africa, in Latin America, in Asia, and even the American Prairie Indians were brought. Between October and the end of March, just 10,500 refugees entered the United States. I’m Amy Goodman. So, “Ode to Joy” was carefully chosen for you, Ariel. The Displaced is also a commitment: ABRAMS will donate 10 percent of the cover price of this book, a minimum of $25,000 annually, to the International Rescue Committee, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid, relief, and resettlement to refugees and other victims of oppression or violent conflict. One sponsor took my parents, one sponsor took my 10-year-old brother, one sponsor took 4-year-old me. And Ariel Dorfman, his new book, Darwin’s Ghosts, and his essay book, Homeland Security Ate My Speech. So, Drumpf can eat his tacos, you know, all he wants, but the fact is, we’re already here. You have often talked about how you don’t like the idea of, as a refugee writer, being called the voice of the voiceless. They felt that they had lost their country. Two years after the United States withdrew from Vietnam, amid widespread violence, unrest and displacement in Southeast Asia, Congress passed legislation paving the way for 200,000 Cambodians and Vietnamese displaced by the war to enter the U.S. Four-year-old Viet Thanh Nguyen … Before we go to Ariel Dorfman, the best-selling author, playwright, poet, activist, author of Darwin’s Ghosts and Homeland Security Ate My Speech and contributor to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s book The Displaced, I have to ask you about that song, “Bang Bang,” which features prominently in your earlier book, The Sympathizer, Viet. We should stop doing it the same.” Going back to my novel, again, if you don’t like an indigenous person taking over your face, you should face the fact of what has been done to indigenous people all over the world in your own name. And so, you know, you go to a Vietnamese restaurant to have Vietnamese food, but you don’t understand that that is related to a whole culture behind that. Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1971. The Refugees Summary T he Refugees is a collection of short stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen about Vietnamese immigrants and their children, many of whom … AMY GOODMAN: More than 70 migrants from Central America remain camped out at the U.S.-Mexican border attempting to seek asylum in the United States. ARIEL DORFMAN: I’m sorry, I can’t do my quotation marks about “savages,” right? He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. 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