The Committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

How do you write a sequel to The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s debut, about a French-Vietnamese double agent—“a man of two faces and two minds”—that blew apart easy classification and Hollywood clichés of the Vietnam War, winning the 2016 Pulitzer Prize along the way? The novel, like its protagonist, was a study in schizophrenia: part spy thriller, part existential novel of ideas, The Sympathizer ushered in a new conversation about the war’s psychic wounds from a Vietnamese perspective.

Well, it’s not like Nguyen hasn’t been busy in the years since. He published a scholarly study, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War; a book of stories, The Refugees; a brace of fiercely argued op-eds (taking on topics from immigration and the U.S. elections to Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods).