The Book of Salt (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This poetic novel provides a fictionalized account of a Vietnamese cook who works in the home of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Moving between France and Vietnam both physically and through memory, The Book of Salt explores the intricacies of sexuality, race, and post-coloniality in the twentieth century. --Brynn

— From Staff Picks - Brynn


The Book of Salt serves up a wholly original take on Paris in the 1930s through the eyes of Binh, the Vietnamese cook employed by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Viewing his famous mesdames and their entourage from the kitchen of their rue de Fleurus home, Binh observes their domestic entanglements while seeking his own place in the world. In a mesmerizing tale of yearning and betrayal, Monique Truong explores Paris from the salons of its artists to the dark nightlife of its outsiders and exiles. She takes us back to Binh's youthful servitude in Saigon under colonial rule, to his life as a galley hand at sea, to his brief, fateful encounters in Paris with Paul Robeson and the young Ho Chi Minh.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780618446889
ISBN-10: 0618446885
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: June 15th, 2004
Pages: 261
Language: English