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A Good Place To Start

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The Book of Salt 1

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Categorization is odious. There is tremendous overlap among genres. These pigeonholes are offered only as a convenience.

Monique Truong

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pbgord January 28th, 2006 07:09 PM PST

My sister-in-law handed me this book this past summer and said she thought I might like it. I ADORED it. It's the first and only novel by a Vietnamese woman writer -- born in Saigon in 1968; moved to USA when she was 6 years old. She published it in 2003; I am salivating in anticipation of her next book. This one tells the story of Binh, a Vietnamese cook who is exiled from Saigon and lands in Paris in the 1920s where he is eventually engaged as cook to Alice Toklas and Gertrude Stein. The book is a novel of ideas -- it's about class, race, nationality, sexuality, language, exile, identity, fame -- yet it's never didactic about those ideas; instead, it's emotional, poetic and incisive -- and there's amazing writing about food.

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Born in Saigon in 1968; moved to USA when she was six; went to Columbia Law School; lives in Brooklyn. (source: http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com)

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