Viet Thanh Nguyen: In-Person & Online

Bebe Jacobs

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Encore

Viet Thanh Nguyen: In-Person & Online

Past Event: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

At Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

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In Person & Online

With insight, humor, formal invention, and lyricism, Viet Thanh Nguyen rewinds the film of his own life in A Man of Two Faces. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, Nguyen expands the genre of personal memoir by acknowledging larger stories of refugeehood, colonization, and ideas about Vietnam and America, writing with his trademark sardonic wit and incisive analysis, as well as a deep emotional openness about his life as a father and a son.

All Encore Series, Create Your Own Series, and Super SAL subscribers receive a copy of A Man of Two Faces, shipped to their doors by our partner bookstore, Elliott Bay Book Company. Please note: complimentary subscriptions and single tickets do not include the book.

Q&A with Thanh Tân.

In A Man of Two Faces, Nguyen recounts how, at the age of four, he and his family are forced to flee his hometown of Ban Mê Thuột and come to the USA as refugees. After being removed from his brother and parents and homed with a family on his own, Nguyen is later allowed to resettle into his own family in suburban San José. But there is violence hidden behind the sunny façade of what he calls AMERICA™.

One Christmas Eve, when Nguyen is nine, while watching cartoons at home, he learns that his parents have been shot while working at their grocery store, the SàiGòn Mới, a place where he sometimes helps price tins of fruit with a sticker gun. Years later, as a teenager, the blood-stirring drama of the films of the Vietnam War such as Apocalypse Now throw Nguyen into an existential crisis: how can he be both American and Vietnamese, both the killer and the person being killed? When he learns about an adopted sister who has stayed back in Vietnam, and ultimately visits her, he grows to understand just how much his parents have left behind. And as his parents age, he worries increasingly about their comfort and care, and realizes that some of their older wounds are reopening,

Profound in its emotions and brilliant in its thinking about cultural power, A Man of Two Faces explores the necessity of both forgetting and of memory, the promises America so readily makes and breaks, and the exceptional life story of one of the most original and important writers working today.

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and soon to be an HBO Original Series; its sequel, The Committed; the short story collection The Refugees; the nonfiction book Nothing Ever Dies, a finalist for the National Book Award; and is the editor of an anthology of refugee writing, The Displaced. He is the Aerol Arnold Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He lives in Los Angeles.

Thanh Tân is a Vietnamese American storyteller and filmmaker based in Seattle, Washington. An award-winning journalist who started her career in local television newsrooms, her reporting and writing aims to generate conversation and solve problems, resulting in work that has been featured across all platforms, from This American Life and The Texas Tribune to The Seattle Times and The New York Times. As a brand storyteller, she has traveled around the world telling true stories for Microsoft about the impact of tech and joined Starbucks in 2021 to craft mission-driven narratives about the global ritual of coffee as a means to connect people. Learn more at: https://www.thanhtan.co/

Event Details

Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

1119 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Know Before You Go

Can't find your tickets?

All tickets have been emailed for this event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from boxoffice@lectures.org. Email or call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

For in-person attendance: Your e-tickets come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email. Present on your mobile device or bring your printed ticket to the venue the night of the event.

For online attendance: If you purchased a digital pass, SAL will send a pre-event reminder email with instructions to log in and access the online stream on the day of the event. The night of your event, return to lectures.org/event/viet-than-nguyen and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at boxoffice@lectures.org and we will assist you.

Seating in the Hall

For the in-person event, the lobby doors and SAL Box Office open at 6 p.m. (PT). The auditorium doors will open at approximately 6:30 p.m. (PT) for seating.

All seating is General Admission by section with the exception of Grand Patron seats, which are reserved.

Late seating is permitted at SAL events. However, your seat is not guaranteed after the program has begun.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask our speaker something? We invite you to submit questions for our Q&A. Check your pre-event email for a link!

Books

All Encore Series, Create Your Own Series, and Super SAL subscribers receive a copy of A Man of Two Faces, shipped to their doors by our partner bookstore, Elliott Bay Book Company. Please note: complimentary subscriptions and single tickets do not include the book.

Elliott Bay Book Company will have books available for purchase at their table in the lobby and on their website.

There will be no book signing after the event.

Patrons & Grand Patrons, Have a Drink on SAL!

Patron & Grand Patron seating includes a pre-event drink ticket! Check your pre-event email for details.

Need an Exchange?

Please note: in-person tickets do not include digital access. (Curious to learn why? Check out our FAQ.)

If you need to exchange your in-person ticket for a digital pass, SAL kindly asks that you please contact the box office before noon on the day of your event.

Tickets and subscriptions are non-refundable.

Transportation & Parking

Town Hall Seattle is centrally located at 1119 8th Ave, on the corner of 8th and Seneca. Their venue is served by frequent bus routes, is near access to light rail stations, and close to a number of parking options nearby. Please see their website for more details.

Accessibility

Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing losses, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. To make a request for open captioning, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: for in-person events at Town Hall Seattle, we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure captioning services. 

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video for online events. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Town Hall Seattle has a hearing loop system, so you can switch your T-coil hearing aid to telecoil to have the stage’s microphones transmitted directly to your hearing aids. To pick up a headset, check in with any Town Hall usher when you arrive.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process and we will contact you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at Town Hall Seattle, which is fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Town Hall Seattle recommends that visitors use the 8th Avenue Entrance for events in the Great Hall, and elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. The venue has all-gender, ADA-accessible restrooms on the lobby and Forum level. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details. For more details on accessibility features at Town Hall, click here.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

All-gender restrooms are available.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at boxoffice@lectures.org, or Monday-Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility. If you would like to make accessibility arrangements you do not see listed here, please contact our box office or select “Other Accommodations” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will contact you to confirm details.

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