You do not arrive the same as when you left. Talk about your concerns at the time, well over a year ago, and what you feel now. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0354 This is not going to work. And I’ve gone around this country, speaking to many kinds of American audiences. In one recent tweet, the president wrote, “Getting more dangerous. Because of this, I insist on being called a refugee, since the temptation to pretend that I am not a refugee is strong. And, you know, it’s a Western import, but they’ve made it their own. ", "It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks. Your email address will not be published. AMY GOODMAN: And how does that relate to your novel Darwin’s Ghosts? — Entertainment Weekly, “In this collection of 17 essays (one consisting of cartoons) by writers who were forced to leave their homes, Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Pulitzer-winning novelist and himself a Vietnamese refugee to America, begins to assemble one. And Ariel Dorfman, his new book, Darwin’s Ghosts, and his essay book, Homeland Security Ate My Speech. 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. Explain. 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. They’ve always been with us. I’m Amy Goodman. There’s like a very vibrant Vietnamese-language press, Vietnamese-language pop culture, which I tried to empathize in The Sympathizer with those songs. You know, it doesn’t stop there. AMY GOODMAN: You talk about immigrants being more reassuring than refugees. He wrote The Refugees, or edited this book. These people had lost everything. ", "For those who can never quite accept her, a refugee is like a ghost. Today the world faces an enormous refugee crisis: 68.5 million people fleeing persecution and conflict from Myanmar to South Sudan and Syria, a figure worse than flight of Jewish and other Europeans during World War II and beyond anything the world has seen in this generation. Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1971. We’re also joined by Chilean-American writer Ariel Dorfman, who’s been described as one of the greatest Latin American novelists. A refugee is an official classification. 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… Meaning—no, meaning there was an enormous amount of repression inside Russia itself in order to save itself from this invasion. Between October and the end of March, just 10,500 refugees entered the United States. In Chile, there was a coup. We want to give voice to all those losses that would otherwise remain unheard except by us and those near and dear to us.” And in a previous book, in your book Nothing Ever Dies, you write, “All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory.” Explain. First tell us your refugee story. He teaches at the University of Southern California. Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1971. —Bustle, “With more than a dozen essays on refugees from writers throughout the world, the collection—edited by Nguyen—attempts a vital task: to give voice to the oft-silenced and to redirect the current stream of anti-refugee rhetoric and sentiment in a more just and humanizing direction. One of the people who contributed to The Refugees [sic] is our next guest, after break, Ariel Dorfman. Nguyen… ARIEL DORFMAN: That whole idea of the exotic, of that they’re different. Even if the country gets overcrowded and you have to give up your luxuries, and we set up ugly little lives around the corner, marring your view. —The Economist, “…an incisive and heartbreaking exploration of the refugee crisis…” ", "You realize every day is a lesson in America, the real America, the violent one that never protected you. Dorfman, who teaches at Duke University, has just published a new novel, Darwin’s Ghost, and a new collection of essays titled Homeland Security Ate My Speech. It hosts a collection of … —Electric Literature, “Each essay is worthwhile.” 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. Their 17 contributions are as diverse as their own lives have been, and yet hold just as many themes in common. You have to look inside the United States and say, “OK, if it’s wrong for the Russians to intervene in the U.S. election”—and it’s certainly wrong—”it’s wrong for any country to intervene in the sovereign affairs of another nation.” We should allow other nations to decide their fate. ARIEL DORFMAN: No, I’m talking about the fact that during 17 years after September 11th, 1973, very slowly, the Chilean people organized, took over the streets, took over the country, and finally got rid of the dictator in a nonviolent revolution. 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. And what do we do with the past? Then we went to Chile. ARIEL DORFMAN: —as a reaction to that. He has written the novels The Refugees and The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards. VIET THANH NGUYEN: No, it wasn’t my first language. 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. My books are called—you know, The Sympathizer was called an immigrant novel, and I said, “That’s absolutely wrong.” I’m a refugee. ", "The journey is designed to test the body’s resilience. And, for me, I always felt this burden that, as an Asian American, as someone from Asia, I’m not expected to speak English or to speak it well, so there was always a huge opportunity here for me to disprove that and, even more than that, to prove that I could be better at English than people who were born here and who claim American identity. Your email address will not be published. ARIEL DORFMAN: I know. You would have found us tagging along with our parents for parent-teacher meetings to help translate and working at our family-run businesses on the weekends. They lost relatives, property, careers, identities, selves. 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. Copy may not be in its final form. What do we do with those people who have been hurt by our ancestors? VIET THANH NGUYEN: You know, when my parents became citizens, they asked me—and they changed their names. AMY GOODMAN: I mean, when we were together last night at Barnes & Noble, just down the street is the Museum of Natural History, where—. The community celebration offers music, dance, art, speaker series,… (read more), Viet Thanh Nguyen And I think Drumpf is the incarnation—really, incarnation—and the excrement of that denial of the past. (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.” And they’re exotic. Its intent is to break a human being and rearrange them inside. 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. This panel, a part of BookCon, was moderated by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. It’s very, very important for that to happen. ARIEL DORFMAN: Well, I mean, in Darwin’s Ghosts, a 14-year-old kid wakes up one morning. So I think it’s a powerful political protest that’s bringing to visibility the human crises that are taking place around these efforts for people to move. LISTEN TO THE INTRODUCTION NOW* And they don’t fit into the narrative of the American dream. Viet Thanh Nguyen (born March 13, 1971) is a Vietnamese-American novelist. And it was clear in these movies that Hollywood was fighting America’s wars all over again. And it’s very frustrating. ", "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. is that the men and women who make this country work, who build the houses and pave the roads, who clean the houses and cook the meals and care for the children, coming from every one of our twenty-one Latin American republics and meeting only here in los Estados Unidos de América, what I can unequivocally declare is that they are not going away. For his next project, acclaimed author Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer) has taken on the role of editor. AMY GOODMAN: And each time they take his picture that day, that face. 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. 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 … ", "What is certain. This is a refugee novel, a war novel. And some of those voices, I had no idea that had existed even. He’s the author of three books, including The Sympathizer, which won the Pulitzer Prize. AMY GOODMAN: You’re talking about that other September 11th, 1973. The suffering of non-white bodies is so naturalized, so overwhelming, and so ordinary that it ceases to be exceptional. Viet Thanh Nguyen Although more immigrant than refugee, Grande makes helpful distinctions between the two modes of entry into a new country; … 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: Right. Forty-five years ago, he fled Chile, after a U.S.-backed coup displaced President Salvador Allende. Featuring original essays by a collection of writers from around the world, The Displaced … —PBS Online, “Poignant and timely, these essays ask us to live with our eyes wide open during a time of geo-political crisis. Description 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). Porochista Khakpour And I wanted her to write so that we could have this conversation about what the difference is between an undocumented immigrant and a refugee. VIET THANH NGUYEN: Well, in my mind it was, “Hmm, Troy?” So you laugh. The United States has been meddling in the southern countries south of the border for a very long time, and would rather think about these people as undocumented immigrants or people who are trying to invade this country, when in fact questions of immigration are totally related to U.S. foreign policy and U.S. drug policy and things like this that the United States would rather disavow. It has its founding myths, but its citizens all have their own tragedies, victories and pain—and each has a story to tell.” And I know that there have been voices for the voiceless before me and that there will be voices for the voiceless after me. AMY GOODMAN: And how does that affect your life here in the United States, now a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a professor at University of Southern California, chair of—what’s the name of the department? 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 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. —Literary Hub, “In a decade characterized by massive global displacement that seems likely to grow worse, this collection is both a reminder of the lives altered or destroyed by geopolitical happenings, and a gesture of aid.” ", "I think of all the routes of emigration taken by refugees like us, routes that have been carved into memory, into family stories. And so, that’s really what happens in The Sympathizer, for example, where I put the language through its paces and really try to push it to its extremes. Viet and Ariel, we welcome you both to Democracy Now! Thi Bui 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner Viet Thanh Nguyen reads with contributors Kao Kalia Yang and Vu Tran from The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. 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. But I do find it—I find that it gives me hope. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, he and his family fled to the United States. 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. So when you become officially classified as a refugee, the U.N. says you have certain kinds of rights. Monuments Project: Expanding the American Story, Catch Viet at one of these appearances in the coming months and say hello! This is a rush transcript. And I want that to invade the language. Kinds of people refugees leave the camp, you also wrote the displaced viet thanh nguyen piece after Donald Drumpf was president! 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