Joolie's Reviews > The Book of Salt

The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
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's review
Oct 10, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: cookbooks, fiction, history, memoir, queer, race-and-gender
Read from July 29 to September 21, 2010

A friend noticed this book on my "nightstand" stack of books and simply stated, "ah, food porn." I agree. And much more. Please note that it is not the History of Salt which is all about, well, salt. This is a delicious and sensual, languid and heavy, biting and human memoir of sorts, travelogue of sorts, cooks journey of sorts. It follows in flashback the life of Bhin (though thats not his true name), a Vietnamese cook/son/lover of men in flashbacks of his journey from exiled cook/son/lover of men to the personal cook for Alice B Tolkas and Gertrude Stein in Paris. The character studies are amazing and touching and cringing at times and his journey is at times heart wrenching but never pitying. The concepts of home, leaving, and arriving are beautifully and poignantly portrayed through his reflections.

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