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Download The Book of Salt Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Book of Salt, by Monique Truong Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Monique Truong Narrator: J. Paul Boehme Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“[He] came to us through an advertisement that I had in desperation put in the newspaper.” It began captivatingly for those days: “Two American ladies wish…” It was these lines in The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book that inspired The Book of Salt. 

In Paris, 1934, Bình has accompanied his employers, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, to the train station for their departure to America. His own destination is unclear: will he go with “the Steins,” stay in France, or return to his native Vietnam? 

Bình has fled his homeland in disgrace, leaving behind his malevolent charlatan of a father and his self-sacrificing mother. For five years, he has been the live-in cook at the famous apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus. Before Bình’s decision is revealed, his mesmerizing narrative catapults us back to his youth in French-colonized Vietnam, his years as a galley hand at sea, and his days turning out fragrant repasts for the doyennes of the lost generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fascinating, original, and sharply written story with vivid insights into the world of cooking.”

    Jacques Pépin, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The story of the uprooted basket weaver is a parable for the kind of vessel that Monique Truong has fashioned in The Book of Salt. Against the odds, she has made unsettling art from precisely such exotic cuttings and transplantings.”

    New York Times

  • “Truong leaps between scenes of Bình’s pleasure and humiliation, using the language of gastronomy to communicate the daily indignities of servitude and colonialism.”

    Village Voice

  • “The tone throughout is poignant, lightened by Bình’s subversive wit; for all his bitterness and resentment, he is a captivating narrator, as adept at describing Stein’s literary salon as the contents of Toklas’s kitchen…The narrative rings with emotional authenticity.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Truong provides a savory debut novel of unexpected depth and emotion.”


  • Longlisted for the 2003 Guardian First Book Award
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