SouthBound: Monique Truong On Life As A Refugee, The Taste Of Words, And The Best Barbecue Joint In The World
Monique Truong came to America as a 7-year-old girl — a Vietnamese refugee whose family landed in small-town North Carolina.
She told me in our conversation that the three years she spent in Boiling Springs shaped so much of her life. It’s where she first learned English, where she first faced prejudice and where she started to develop her identity.
Truong has written three novels, including one called “Bitter In the Mouth” that recalls that time through fiction.
I first ran across her in an essay where she described her love for Bridges’, one of the great American barbecue joints, located in Shelby, North Carolina, near where she grew up.
But even that love came by an indirect path. In so many ways in her life, Truong has taken the long way home.
- Truong's website
- Her essay on Bridges' Barbecue Lodge from the Washington Post
- In case you want to go to Bridges' (and you should)
- In case you want to see a photo of Truong in the Shelby Christmas Parade
- Vanishing Postcards, the podcast I mentioned in the mid-episode break
Other music in this episode
- Soft & Furious, "The Secret"
- Ketsa, "Haunted Past"