The Committed (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

The still unnamed central character in the author's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Sympathizer," has fled Vietnam for Paris, but he finds himself emeshed in many of the same turmoils that he endured in his home country. Convoluted political allegiances, social stigmas, deception, drugs, and violence undermine his attempts to build a new life. He is still tormented by memories of his experiences in a "reeducation camp" at the hands of a man he once regarded as a mentor and has reluctantly agreed to help his embittered friend, Bon, exact a murderous revenge. Although the story unfolds on a personal level, the culpability of France and the United States for the traumas inflicted on Vietnam haunt the pages of this engrossing and important novel like a ghoulish specter in a graveyard. — Alden Graves

In this sequel to The Sympathizer, which won the 2016 Pulitzer, the man with two minds is released from the re-education camp in Vietnam and travels to Paris, where he lives with the communist "aunt" who he once traded coded letters with. He and his friend Bon fall in with an opium ring, work in the restaurant that serves as a front for the business, and unavoidably embroil themselves in violence, prostitution, and politics as they struggle to square their previous identities with their immigrant selves. A fascinating portrayal of the colonizer-colonized relationship between the French and Vietnamese, written in a style best described as lurid (and I mean that as a compliment!)

Nadja Tiktinsky

March 2021 Indie Next List

“In this sequel to The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen (and his semi-nameless narrator) once again skewer multiple ideologies with caustic wit, philosophical gravitas, and broad historical understanding. A mix of organized crime and psychological and political thriller, this book offers action (and there is lots of action!) unfolding amidst piercing meditations on colonialism, national identity, and ethics. In other words, The Committed uses much the same recipe as its Pulitzer-winning predecessor and delivers a similarly gripping, enraging, smart, and bleakly funny tale.”
— Annie Metcalf, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN


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 follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer, which has sold more than one million copies worldwide, The Committed follows the man of two minds as he arrives in Paris in the early 1980s with his blood brother Bon. The pair try to overcome their pasts and ensure their futures by engaging in capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing.

Traumatized by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, Man, and struggling to assimilate into French culture, the Sympathizer finds Paris both seductive and disturbing. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals whom he meets at dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese "aunt," he finds stimulation for his mind but also customers for his narcotic merchandise. But the new life he is making has perils he has not foreseen, whether the self-torture of addiction, the authoritarianism of a state locked in a colonial mindset, or the seeming paradox of how to reunite his two closest friends whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition. The Sympathizer will need all his wits, resourcefulness, and moral flexibility if he is to prevail.

Both highly suspenseful and existential, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position in the firmament of American letters.

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 alongside seven other prizes. He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees, the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, a finalist for the National Book Award, and is the editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802157072
ISBN-10: 0802157076
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: March 29th, 2022
Pages: 432
Language: English