Monique Truong is the author of three novels — The Book of Salt; Bitter in the Mouth; and now, The Sweetest Fruits, and her work has been published in 15 countries. Her awards and honors include the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the Asian American Literary Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award.
Yakumo, the children miss you.
They bid, “Pleasant dreams, Papa,” to your photograph every night. They say it first in Japanese and then in English, even little Suzuko. I insist upon it.
The butsudan resides in your writing room now. The scent of your pipe tobacco is no longer here, departing after the second autumn without you. It is the fifth autumn now, and as the days grow cooler the bush clovers in the garden are beginning to show their white petals or, as you would say, they are snowing.