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Extended Audio Sample Bitter in the Mouth: A Novel Audiobook, by Monique Truong Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.3 out of 53.3 out of 53.3 out of 53.3 out of 53.3 out of 5 3.30 (10 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Monique Truong Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781456131487
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Bitter in the Mouth is a brilliant, virtuosic novel about a young woman’s search for identity and the true meaning of family.

“What I know about you, little girl, would break you in two” are the prophetic last words that Linda Hammerick’s grandmother says to her. Growing up in small-town North Carolina in the 1970s and ’80s, Linda already knows that she is profoundly different from everyone else, including the members of her own family. She can “taste” words. In this and in other ways, her body is a mystery to her. Linda’s awkward girlhood is nonetheless enlivened and emboldened by her dancing great-uncle Harper, and Kelly, her letter-writing best friend. Linda makes her way north to college and then to New York City, trying her best to leave her past behind her like “a pair of shoes that no longer fit.” But when a family tragedy compels her to return home, Linda uncovers the startling secrets of her past.

Monique Truong’s acclaimed novel questions our assumptions about what it means to be a family and to be a friend, to be foreign and to be familiar, to be connected to and disconnected from our bodies, our histories, ourselves.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Truong explores—and explodes—[her characters’] secrets at a captivating pace…Reminiscent of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A beautifully written, complex story of self-discovery.”

    Boston Globe

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 5/18/2011

    " Not AS amazing as her Book of Salt, but very very good story of family and identity "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Delight | 4/26/2011

    " Ohh, I loved this book! I was sorry to see it end and spent every moment of free time reading once I started The author is a fantastic writer and I am eager to read her first book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 4/22/2011

    " I loved her phrasing, but I didn't quite relate to the story... though it was cleverly rendered. The book didn't quite capture my attention and though I wanted to finish it I wasn't impelled to read it quickly. I think it took me a full 2 weeks to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 4/12/2011

    " An interesting read about a girl with synesthesia which causes her to taste something depending on the word she hears. I found it to be mostly strange, with some sad parts. Not sure I'd recommend or not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Trudy | 3/28/2011

    " SOme interesting insights but mostly morose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 3/27/2011

    " Very compelling tale of a childhood that, while occuring in the same time frame as mine, couldn't be more different from my own. I felt drawn to Linda and wish I could have been her friend, I would have been a better one than the one she had! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 3/15/2011

    " Good story about a young girl growing up in the south in the 70's & 80's. Can't give any details because they would spoil the story. Well done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 2/26/2011

    " I might have enjoyed this book more if Ms. Truong hadn't tacked the taste directly onto the words - something I found incredibly distracting. Otherwise, the plot moved along okay. And then I read "Lit." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 2/16/2011

    " A surprisingly great read...unique topic and characters, well-written, thoughtful, yet still easy to read. I really liked this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carol | 2/10/2011

    " So far it is reading like a memoir even though it is fiction and I have no idea where the author is taking me. "

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About the Author
Author Monique Truong

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.

About the Narrator

Jennifer Ikeda has been narrating audiobooks since 2002. Among her readings are When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park; Just Listen by Sarah Dessen; and After the Wreck, I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings, and Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates.