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Monique Truong Profile Picture

Monique Truong was born in Saigon in 1968 and moved to the United States at age six. She graduated from Yale University and the Columbia University School of Law, going on to specialize in intellectual property. Truong coedited the anthology Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose. Her first novel,The Book of Salt, a national bestseller, has been awarded the 2003 Bard Fiction Prize, the Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and the Young Lions Fiction Award, among other honors. Granting Truong an Award of Excellence, the Vietnamese American Studies Center at San Francisco State University called her ""a pioneer in the field, as an academic, an advocate, and an artist."" Truong now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Good To Know

in our interview, Truong shared some fun facts about herself with us:

""I can't drive. I took the written test when I was 16 and passed (of course, I passed; I was a geek and studied). I took the driving test twice when I was in high school and failed miserably both times. I'm mobility-challenged in other ways as well. I can't ride a bike, roller skate, ice skate, or rollerblade. I can walk (short distances) and am very proficient at taking public transportations of all kinds.""

""I learned how to cook by watching my mother (who is an amazing cook) and from reading cookbooks. When my family first came to the U.S. as refugees in 1975, we lived in a very small town in North Carolina. I had very few friends (OK, I had one), and I spent a great deal of time reading books of all kinds. I began to read cookbooks because I had this idea that if I ate American food I would become more American (and have more friends). I was six years old and this plan made sense to me. I needed to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies, devil's food cake, meatloaf, etc. During my elementary school years, I read The Betty Crocker Cookbook from cover to cover, even those pages about how to set a festive table (the Mexican theme intrigued me).""

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