Appalachian Reads is a book discussion group sponsored by Blount County Public Library. Participants meet every two months on a Saturday morning at 10:30-11:30 in Dorothy Herron Room A. The first year of Appalachian Reads began July 15, 2017 and ran through May 19, 2018. The second year starts with its first session on July 21, 2018.
The library will have four print copies of all titles plus R.E.A.D.S. access. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Reference Librarian Brennan LeQuire at 865-982-0981, ext. 302.
|July 21||Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks||Doug Floyd|
|September 15||Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver||Jim Stovall|
|November 17||The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash||Sarah Pirkle|
|January 19||Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong||—|
Discuss Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong on Saturday, Janary 19, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in Dorothy Herron Room A.
This Southern coming-of-age novel is a richly textured narrative of family life that looks at the many ways it is possible to be different in small-town North Carolina in the seventies and eighties. The author was born in Vietnam, grew up in North Carolina, and now works in New York as an intellectual property attorney.
Born in Saigon, South Vietnam, in 1968, Monique Truong is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her second novel, Bitter in the Mouth (Random House, 2010), is the inaugural selection of the Ladies’ Home Journal Book Club. The novel received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a 25 Best Fiction Books of 2010 by Barnes & Noble, a 10 Best Fiction Books of 2010 by Hudson Booksellers, and the adult fiction Honor Book by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.
Her first novel, The Book of Salt (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) was a national bestseller and the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Bard Fiction Prize, the Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles National Literary Award, an Association for Asian American Studies Poetry/Prose Award, and a Seventh Annual Asian American Literary Award. In 2003, The Book of Salt was honored as a New York Times Notable Fiction Book, a Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction Book, one of the Village Voice’s 25 Favorite Books, and one of the Miami Herald’s Top 10 Books, among other citations.
From the book description at Amazon:
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.
Open to the public, Southern Appalachian Studies programs are sponsored and hosted by Blount County Public Library with the support of Blount County Friends of the Library.