The Book of Salt

The Book of Salt

A Novel

eBook - 2004
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004
ISBN: 9780547524993
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (272 pages)
Call Number: eBook


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Nov 11, 2015

I found the story over narrated, slow paced with minimal plot. The prose was dense and at times came across as pretentious with confusing flashbacks that weren't easy to identify in place or time. Binh the Vietnamese cook doesn't speak english but quotes conversations between Gertrude Stein and Alice B Tolkais? He himself as a persona is hard to know, feel empathy for and even care about.

Jane60201 Jun 14, 2014

I really liked the writing in this book. One of the best I've read recently.

Feb 09, 2014

Having read The Paris Wife, I checked this book out thinking I would find out more about the Stein/Toklas salons in the Paris of that day. Instead this novel introduces a Vietnamese immigrant chef as employee and observer of this famous duo with a story of his own to tell. a sensually told tale.


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