[IHJ Artists’ Forum-JUSFC 40th Anniversary Year]
The Sea-Salt Sadness of the Outcast

    • Monique Truong reads from her novel

The Book of SaltTheBookofSaltS

  • *This event has finished.
  • Date: Friday, March 27, 2015, 7:00 pm
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan
  • Speaker: Monique Truong (Novelist/US-Japan Creative Artists Program Fellow)
  • Commentator: Kobayashi Fukuko (Translator/Guest Professor, Josai International University)
  • Language: English & Japanese (with consecutive interpretation)
  • Co-sponsored by the Japan-US Friendship Commission (JUSFC)
  • Admission: Free (reservations required)

Monique_Truong_SVietnamese American writer Monique Truong, residing in Japan as a US-Japan Creative Artists Program fellow, reads from her novel, The Book of Salt. Set in Paris in the 1920s and 30s, it is a first-person narrative of the Vietnamese chef in the household of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. Upon publication in 2003, the book became a national bestseller and the recipient of numerous awards. It has since been translated into thirteen languages, including Japanese (Sairyusha, 2012). Truong will be joined by Kobayashi Fukuko, American Literature professor and the novel’s translator. The reading will be followed by a discussion about the book, as well as Truong’s research plans for her current project.

Monique Truong is a Vietnamese American writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her first novel, The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin, 2003), was a national bestseller, New York Times Notable Fiction book, and recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, among other honors. Her second novel, Bitter in the Mouth (Random House, 2010), received the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rosenthal Family Foundation Award and named a best fiction book of the year by Barnes & Noble and Hudson Booksellers. She was a 2012 Visiting Writer at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, and 2007 Princeton University’s Hodder Fellow. In the Fall of 2016, Truong will be the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College in New York City. Truong is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School.


Truong is a 2015 fellow of the US-Japan Creative Artists Program through the Japan-US Friendship Commission. Her current project, The Sweetest Fruits (working title), is a novel based on the life of Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo), as told through the voices of the four most important women in his cross-cultural life.

Photo: Michele Panduri Metalli