Monique Truong biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Monique Truong.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Monique Truong

Monique Truong

Monique Truong Biography

Monique Truong was born in Saigon in 1968 and moved to the United States at age six. She graduated from Yale University and the Columbia University School of Law, going on to specialize in intellectual property. Truong coedited the anthology Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose, and her essay "Welcome to America" was featured on National Public Radio. Granting her an award of excellence, the Vietnamese American Studies Center at San Francisco State University called her "a pioneer in the field, as an academic, an advocate, and an artist." She was awarded a prestigious Lannan Foundation writing residency in 2001.

This biography was last updated on 01/18/2006.

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Interview

An Interview with Monique Truong

The main character of The Book of Salt is a cook. What's your relationship to the preparation of food?
I cook for pleasure. I cook to experience something new. I cook, like the characters in my novel, to remind me of where I have been. I always cook or rather I always "taste" the food first in my mind. I approach a recipe like a story. I imagine it, sometimes I have a dream about it, then I go about crafting it.

Tell us about the novel's structure.
The Book of Salt opens in Paris in October of 1934. Bình, the cook, has accompanied his employers Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas to the train station. He seems to be faced with a decision. Will he go to the United States with his Mesdames? Will he return to his family in Vietnam, or, will he continue his life in France or will he travel to some other place of his choosing? Before Bình's "choice" is revealed, the reader is brought back in time and made privy to the stories of the Vietnamese cook and of his American employers. What led each of them to live far from the land of their birth? What, if anything, could bring them back home again? The answers to these questions are found in Bình's ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Monique Truong at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Book of Salt
The Book of Salt

by Monique Truong

Set in Paris during the 1930s this intricate, compelling and witty novel weaves in historical characters with remarkable originality — an inspired feast of storytelling riches.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Monique Truong but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Monica Ali

    Monica Ali

    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Book of Salt

    Try:
    Brick Lane
    by Monica Ali

  • Glen David Gold

    Glen David Gold

    Glen David Gold is best known as the author of Carter Beats the Devil, a fictionalized biography of Charles Joseph Carter (1874-1936), an American illusionist performing from c.1900-1936. He writes in a narrative style, and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Book of Salt

    Try:
    Sunnyside
    by Glen David Gold

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