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Nguyen Thanh Viet - first Vietnamese-born writer to enter the Pulitzer judge board

September 13, 2020 | 12:05

The Pulitzer Prize Board's announcement confirms that not only is the first Vietnamese born, Professor Nguyen Thanh Viet is also the only Asian American ever to take part in the prestigious US award.

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Professor Nguyen Thanh Viẹt (Photo: VN Express)

"It is an honor to be selected on the Pulitzer Prize Board. As a lucky Pulitzer Prize successor, I understand how the award will affect the writer's career and the perceptions of readers. I am glad to join the important work of the council ", Professor Nguyen Thanh Viet shared on his personal Twitter on September 9.

Nguyen Thanh Viet is the author of an English-language novel called The Sympathizer, published in 2015. The book has made a big splash when winning the Pulitzer Prize for fictional work in 2016 and many other awards later.

In 2017, Nguyen Thanh Viet's collection of short stories named The Refugees attracted wide attention in many countries, including Vietnam. According to the Pulitzer Council website, Nguyen Thanh Viet is currently a professor at the University of Southern California and a reviewer for the New York Times.

Evaluation of the participation of the writer of the Vietnamese-born colleague, Pulitzer jury co-chairs - Mr. Stephen Engelberg and Mrs. Aminda Marqués Gonzalez - emphasized: "The impressive experiences of Nguyen Thanh Viet as a novelist, journalist, essay writer and scholar make him a great newcomer to the jury amid a turbulent era ".

Born in Buon Me Thuot in 1971 and arriving in the US after 1975, Nguyen Thanh Viet once shared that he hoped to soon have a Vietnamese version of The Refugee so that his father could read.

His most recent work is Chicken of the Sea, a children's book written with his 6-year-old son. Nguyen Thanh Viet is finalizing The Committed, the next book of The Sympathizer novel scheduled to be released next year.

Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist, is the father of the Pulitzer Prize. Before his death, he left behind a fortune and a wish to open a journalism school and an award for writers. The Pulitzer Prize was first awarded in 1917. The 19-member Pulitzer Prize Judging Council has a three-year term.
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