Category Archives: Truong, Monique

Monique Truong. Bitter in the Mouth. New York: Random House, 2010.

All of her adult life, Linda Hammerick has been asked “what it was like to grow up being Asian in the South.” Linda, adopted at the age of six by a white couple in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, has always given the following response: “You mean what was it like to grow up looking Asian in the South.”

The dissolution of her engagement, a job demotion, and a bout with cancer were all events that Linda could deal with on her own, safely in her New York City brownstone. However, it is the sudden death of her beloved great-uncle, Harper, that brings Linda back to Boiling Springs as a thirty-year old, twelve years after leaving for college at Yale. On this visit, without the gentle, insightful perspective of Harper, Linda has to come to terms with her childhood–her strained relationship with her mother, DeAnne, her understanding of her synesthesia (a neurological condition that makes Linda associate tastes with words, like Lindamint and Jesusfriedchicken), and the circumstances of her adoption. Revisiting her memories of the different people and stages in her life, Linda finds that although there are no easy answers to the questions of her youth, exploring them helps her grow.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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