Bard News & Events

Press Release


Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Writer Monique Truong, winner of this year’s Bard Fiction Prize, will read from her work on Wednesday, February 4, at 7 p.m. in the Weis Cinema, in Bard’s Bertelsmann Campus Center. The reading is free and open to the public.

Truong won widespread praise for her novel The Book of Salt, published in 2003 by Houghton Mifflin in the U.S. and Chatto & Windus in the U.K., where it has been nominated for the Guardian First Book Award. Her first novel, The Book of Salt was called "a tour de force" by Kirkus Reviews, which also stated that "Truong should take literate America by storm." The New York Times Book Review called it a "fascinating first novel" in which Truong’s birthplace (Vietnam) "is evoked with piercing yearning and authenticity." The Miami Herald called The Book of Salt "seductive tale of exile, memory, sex, identity, language, the sins of colonialism and the social and cultural politics of food."

In addition to The Book of Salt, Truong coedited the anthology Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry & Prose, published in 1998 by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Her writing has appeared in the anthologies Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing (Rutgers, 2001), Of Vietnam: Identities in Dialogue (Palgrave, 2001), and An Interethnic Companion to Asian American Literature (Cambridge, 1997), among others. She was named the John Gardner Fellow in Fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in 2003 and was awarded a Lannan Foundation Writing Residency in 2001. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

As winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, Truong received a $30,000 cash award and was named writer-in-residence at Bard for the spring 2004 semester.

The creation of the Bard Fiction Prize, presented each October to a promising young fiction writer, is a continuation of Bard’s long-standing position as a center for creative, groundbreaking literary work by both faculty and students. From Saul Bellow, William Gaddis, Mary McCarthy, and Ralph Ellison to John Ashbery, Philip Roth, William Weaver, and Chinua Achebe, Bard literature faculty, past and present, represent some of the most important American writers of our time. The prize is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction to pursue their creative goals and to provide an opportunity to work in a fertile and intellectual environment. Last year’s Bard Fiction Prize was awarded to writer Emily Barton, author of the novel The Testament of Yves Gundron (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000).

For information, call 845-758-7412.

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This event was last updated on 02-25-2004