There are good things to be found in the echo chamber

Viet Thanh Nguyen features in this week’s By The Book section in the New York Times International Edition. As is often the way when it comes to discovering new writing and writers, I had seen a copy — well, copies, actually — of his new book The Refugees in Waterstones earlier this week.

The cover intrigued me. As did mention of the Pulitzer Prize he won for his debut novel.

So I was intrigued by his appearance in the paper this morning.

He spoke of the echo chamber:

To get out of the echo chamber, I read Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. It’s utterly terrifying and depressing, and I run back into the echo chamber.

I like the honesty of that. Life outside the echo chamber can sometimes be scary, depressing, and debilitating.

But the thing he said that finally convinced me to order The Sympathizer was when he said that John Berger was one of three writers he would invite to his literary dinner party.

If you have read more than a few of my posts here on Medium, you’ll know how highly I revere John Berger.

Here’s how Viet Thanh Nguyen describes Berger:

Berger was the kind of writer we need more of — politically committed, aesthetically serious, and always curious.

Spot on. I look forward to reading The Sympathizer.