Following on the Giller Prize-nominated and Governor General's Literary Award-winning success of Ru, Kim Thúy's latest novel is a triumph of poetic beauty and a moving meditation on how love and food are inextricably entwined.
Mãn 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 Mãn a husband--a lonely Vietnamese restaurateur who lives in Montreal.
Thrown into a new world, Mãn 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.
Mãn 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 Mãn discovers the all-encompassing obsession and ever-present dangers of a love affair.
Full of indelible images of beauty, delicacy and quiet power, Mãn is a novel that begs to be savoured for its language, its sensuousness and its love of life.
Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim Thúy left Vietman with the boat people at the age of ten and settled with her family in Quebec. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner and food commentator on radio and television. She lives in Montreal and devotes herself to writing.
SHEILA FISCHMAN is the award-winning translator of some 150 contemporary novels from Quebec. In 2008 she was awarded the Molson Prize in the Arts. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and a chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec. She lives in Montreal.
#1 BESTSELLER (Quebec)
FINALIST 2014 – Prix des 5 continents
FINALIST 2015 – QWF Cole Foundation Prize for Translation
“Love is ever-present in Mãn, in all of its guises.”
“With Mãn, her second novel, Kim Thúy shows she’s no one-book wonder. After the immense success of Ru, a book inspired by her own life, she shows that she’s equally capable of telling the stories of others: their exiles, their families, their passions, their sacrifices.”
“Sentence by sentence, Kim Thúy allows us to discover Vietnam through its history, its vocabulary, its food and its customs…. In addition to bringing us the happy and tragic destinies of immigrants, Mãn also proves that Kim Thúy is the greatest of romantics.”
—The Huffington Post Québec
“A novel so delicious I ate it in one sitting. Kim Thúy writes like each sentence is life or death. Which is how novels should be written, no?”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure and Super Sad True Love Story