Big Books & Bold Ideas with Kerri Miller

Talking Volumes: Viet Thanh Nguyen on being 'A Man of Two Faces'

Viet Thanh Nguyen has a critical mind.

He’s critic of populist politics. He’s a critic of history. He’s a critic of the country where he was born, Vietnam, and he’s a critic of the country he calls home, the United States. He’s even a critic of his own memories.

But Nguyen says his captious lens isn’t meant to blister. It’s simply meant to reveal truth. And if you write truthfully, you will likely offend.

Nguyen joined host Kerri Miller on stage at the Fitzgerald Theater for the third conversation in the 2023 Talking Volumes season. Their discussion was candid and eloquent, poignant and funny, as they talked and shared photos from Nguyen’s new memoir, “A Man of Two Faces.”

They were joined by musician D’Lourdes, who sang two songs off their new EP, “softer, for now.”


  • Viet Thanh Nguyen won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for his novel, “The Sympathizer.” His new book, “A Man of Two Faces” is an unconventional memoir that combines his own story of being a Vietnamese refugee with larger themes of colonization, war and perceptions about America.

Use the audio player or video player above to listen to the conversation.

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