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Monique Truong

Born in Saigon, South Vietnam, in 1968, Monique Truong is a novelist based in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, but most people don’t believe this because she doesn’t have a southern accent. Her first novel, The Book of Salt (2003), was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Fiction Book. Her second novel, Bitter in the Mouth (2010), received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She writes “Ravenous,” a monthly online food column for the New York Times website. Find out more at

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. A dictionary (a physical book, not the online editions)
  2. A thesaurus (same)
  3. Great freshly brewed coffee
  4. Fresh lemons
  5. A very sharp kitchen knife
  6. Kohl black eyeliner
  7. A pair of very comfortable stylish shoes (I’m too old and too wise now to suffer high heels.)
  8. Bacon
  9. Blank paper
  10. 100% cotton sheets


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