Author(s): Kim Thuy
Man has three mothers: the one who gives birth to her in wartime, the nun who plucks her from a vegetable garden, and her beloved Maman, who becomes a spy to survive. Seeking security for her grown daughter, Maman finds Man a husband - a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal. Thrown into a new world, Man discovers her natural talent as a chef. Gracefully she practices her art, with food as her medium. She creates dishes that are much more than sustenance for the body: they evoke memory and emotion, time and place, and even bring her customers to tears. Man is a mystery - her name means 'perfect fulfillment', yet she and her husband seem to drift along, respectfully and dutifully. But when she encounters a married chef in Paris, everything changes in the instant of a fleeting touch, and Man discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair. Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Man is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.
A Vietnamese novel of poetic beauty about love and food.
Kim Thuy has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer and restaurant owner. In 2010 Thuy won the Governor General's Award for French language fiction. She lives in Montreal, where she devotes herself to writing.