Lannan Foundation Presents: Viet Thanh Nguyen & Maxine Hong Kingston @ Lensic Theater

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 7:00pm

The Lannan Foundation (in conjunction with Collected Works) hosts a conversation between Pulitzer prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen and author Maxine Hong Kingston at the Lensic Theatre. For tickets and further information go to

Viet Thanh Nguyen‘s debut novel is The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It is a spy novel set during and just after the war in Vietnam, told in the form of a forced confession by a spy for the communist-held North. The New York Times said of the book, “The great achievement of The Sympathizer is that it gives the Vietnamese a voice and demands that we pay attention. Until now, it’s been largely a one-sided conversation.” Nguyen’s other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. His honors include the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, a Gold Medal in First Fiction from the California Book Awards, and the Asian/Pacific American Literature Award from the Asian/Pacific American Librarian Association. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English and an associate professor of American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Nguyen is currently at work on a short story collection, forthcoming from Grove Press.

Maxine Hong Kingston is a Chinese American writer whose books include Tripmaster Monkey, China Men, and The Fifth Book of Peace. Her first book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, was published in 1976 and blends autobiography with “talk-stories,” her mother’s mystical tales of China. In her memoir I Love a Broad Margin to My Life (2012), Hong Kingston reflects on 65 years of life, from her childhood in California through her activism during the Vietnam War to her arrest during a 2003 peace demonstration at the White House. Her book Hawai’i One Summer is a collection of essays about her time in the islands she called home for 17 years. Hong Kingston is currently senior lecturer emerita at the University of California–Berkeley.