The Believer magazine and Black Mountain Institute welcome award winning literary heavyweights Paul Beatty (The Sellout,Man Booker Prize 2016) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) to UNLV for an onstage conversation about their works as satire, literature in the context of the political, and discussion of what it means to be other.
Novelist and poet Paul Beatty is among the funniest and most fearless writers in contemporary fiction. He has been called “one of the shrewdest cultural commentators, and hilarious cutups, of his generation” (Interview). In a voice both acerbic and expansive, Beatty creates unforgettable characters and haunting settings that strike at the very heart of race, pop culture, and language in America. With his most recent novel, The Sellout, Beatty became the first American author to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Beatty is also the author of two volumes of poetry, Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce, and a contributor to a slam poetry collection, Slam! Poetry: Heftige Dichtung aus Amerika, published in both German and English. He lives in New York City, where he teaches at Columbia University. He is currently working on a new novel, as well as an anthology of nonblack writers writing on blackness, titled Negro Sunshine.
Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Ban Me Thuot, Viet Nam (now spelled Buon Me Thuot after 1975, a year which brought enormous changes to many things, including the Vietnamese language). He came to the United States as a refugee in 1975. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Viet has been described as "one of the great chroniclers of displacement"(Joyce Carol Oates, The New Yorker). He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His current book is the bestselling short story collection, The Refugees.