In the long-anticipated sequel to The Sympathizer, we find our antihero embroiled in the Paris underworld. Beneath the rip-roaring action resides dark humor, deep character study, and meditations on identity, capitalism, and colonization. The Committed is a powerful follow-up to Nguyen's award-winning, way-more-than-just-a-spy-novel. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The sequel to The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and went on to sell over a million copies worldwide, The Committed tells the story of "the man of two minds" as he comes as a refugee to France and turns his hand to capitalism
The long-awaited new novel from one of America's most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing.
No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese "aunt," he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise — but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen, from the oppression of the state, to the self-torture of addiction, to the seemingly unresolvable paradox of how he can reunite his two closest friends, men whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition.
Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position in the firmament of American letters.
"A sumptuous sequel to The Sympathizer... The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist captures, with grace and restraint, the foibles of two young men caught in a duel between East and West." O, the Oprah Magazine
"An exhilarating roller-coaster ride filled with violence, hidden identity, and meditations on whether the colonized can ever be free... The book works both as sequel and standalone, with Nguyen careful to fold in needed backstory, and the author's wordplay continues to scratch at the narrator's fractured sense of self... Pleasures abound, such as the narrator's hair-raising escapes, descriptions of the Boss's hokey bar, and thoughtful references to Fanon and Césaire. Nguyen continues to delight." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Call The Committed many things. A white hot literary thriller disguised as a searing novel of ideas. An unflinching look at redemption and damnation. An unblinking examination of the dangers of belief, and the need to believe. A sequel that goes toe to toe with the original then surpasses it. A masterwork." Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
About the Author
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the author of The Sympathizer, which was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees, the nonfiction books Nothing Ever Dies and Race and Resistance, and editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. He teaches English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.