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The Sympathizer

by Viet Thanh Nguyen

If you are of mixed race, you may feel you sit between two worlds. And if your country is torn apart by war, which side do you choose? This dilemma is at the heart of a story of impossibly tested friendships. Told with wry humour, it is nevertheless gut-wrenching and disturbing.

Extract

Too much freedom of the press is unhealthy for a democracy, I declared. While I did not believe this, my character, the good captain, did, and as the actor playing this role I had to sympathize with this man. But most actors spent more time with their masks off than on, whereas in my case it was the reverse. No surprise, then, that sometimes I dreamed of trying to pull a mask off my face, only to realize that the mask was my face.

Parallels

The Sorrow of War: a Novel of North Vietnam by Bao Ninh
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
The Killing Fields by Christopher Hudson
 

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