The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen Wins the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen has won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, beating out such contenders as Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, Nell Zink’s Mislaid, and Paul Beatty’s The Sellout. The Sympathizer, which was published by Grove Press, “is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the Vietnam War that have preceded it, this novel offers an important and unfamiliar new perspective on the war: that of a conflicted communist sympathizer.” The fiction jury was composed of Edward P. Jones, Art Winslow, and Leah Price.

The two finalists in fiction were Get in Trouble by Kelly Link and Maud’s Line by Margaret Verble.

This year was the 100th awarding of the Pulitzer Prizes, although a prize for fiction was not given out the first year. The first award for fiction went to Ernest Poole’s His Family in 1918.

Here are the winners for the other writing (non-journalism) categories:

Drama — Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda

History — Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)

Biography — Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Penguin Press)

Poetry — Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian (University of Chicago Press)

Nonfiction — Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick (Doubleday)

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