I admit that when I open a book and find it has no dialogue, I feel like I’m a sixth grader all over again, made to read A Tale of Two Cities against my will (it took me a long time to learn to love Dickens). But The Sympathizer, long paragraphs and all, absorbed me immediately. It is a dialogue, but a one-sided one: a confession from a man of divided identity and loyalties, a biracial spy for the Viet Cong who escaped the fall of South Vietnam for exile in California and then returned. For all the “Vietnam novels” we’ve had, this is a new perspective for American readers, a fascinating story, which starts as satire but turns dark, of the way the war ended for Americans but continued for Vietnamese at home and abroad.
—Laura Silverstein, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA