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Nothing Ever Dies

Vietnam and the Memory of War

Viet Thanh Nguyen

ISBN 9780674979840

Publication date: 11/20/2017

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Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award
Finalist, National Book Award in Nonfiction
A New York Times Book Review “The Year in Reading” Selection

All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of the conflict Americans call the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War—a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both nations.

“[A] gorgeous, multifaceted examination of the war Americans call the Vietnam War—and which Vietnamese call the American War…As a writer, [Nguyen] brings every conceivable gift—wisdom, wit, compassion, curiosity—to the impossible yet crucial work of arriving at what he calls ‘a just memory’ of this war.”
—Kate Tuttle, Los Angeles Times

“In Nothing Ever Dies, his unusually thoughtful consideration of war, self-deception and forgiveness, Viet Thanh Nguyen penetrates deeply into memories of the Vietnamese war…[An] important book, which hits hard at self-serving myths.”
—Jonathan Mirsky, Literary Review

“Ultimately, Nguyen’s lucid, arresting, and richly sourced inquiry, in the mode of Susan Sontag and W. G. Sebald, is a call for true and just stories of war and its perpetual legacy.”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

Praise

  • [Nguyen] produces close readings of the novels, films, monuments, and prisons that form ‘the identity of war’ in Vietnam, ‘a face with carefully drawn features, familiar at a glance to the nation’s people.’ Nguyen draws insights from Levinas, Ricoeur, and other philosophers, and his approach has affinities with that of hybridists such as W. G. Sebald and Maggie Nelson. The book is also notable for its inclusivity, addressing Cambodian, Laotian, Hmong, and Korean experiences and the competition for narrative dominance in bookstores and box offices.

    —New Yorker

Awards

  • 2016, Winner of the John G. Cawelti Award
  • 2017, Winner of the René Wellek Prize

Author

  • Viet Thanh Nguyen is Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Book Details

  • 384 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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