Viet Thanh Nguyen, an associate professor of English and American studies and ethnicity at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year for his debut novel The Sympathizer, which explores Vietnamese American identity in the wake of the war.
However, his nominated piece for the National Book award, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, is a work of nonfiction.
In this piece, Nguyen recounts the stories of American and Vietnamese people who were impacted by the war, but doesn’t limit himself to just these two sides — he also writes about Laotians, Cambodians, South Koreans and Southeast Asian-Americans.
Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam but raised in the United States during the war between the two countries, writes about the experiences of people living on opposing sides of the conflict.
According to The New York Times, Nguyen called Nothing Ever Dies a nonfiction companion to The Sympathizer.
The National Book Award is administered each year in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature.
Winners, who will be announced on Nov. 16 in New York City, receive a prize of $10,000.