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“The Sympathizer” is Pasadena’s 2017 One City, One Story Selection

Published on Friday, October 21, 2016 | 6:04 pm

The book selection for Pasadena Public Library’s 2017 One City, One Story community reading celebration is The Sympathizer by author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Now in its 15th year, One City, One Story is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading and literature by recommending a compelling book that sparks a community conversation on important issues.

The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping story of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon. While building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles, he is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative and the Chicago Tribune, and he is the author of the academic book Race and Resistance and the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War. Nguyen teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

One City, One Story community programs will be held throughout March, beginning with a conversation with the author on Thursday evening, March 2, 2017. Event details will be announced in the near future.

For more information, visit or call (626) 744-7076.

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