Early on in Bitter in the Mouth, we learn that the protagonist, Linda Linh-Dao Nguyen Hammerick, has auditory-gustatory synesthesia—that is, nearly every word she hears evokes a specific taste. Hammerick, for example, tastes like Dr. Pepper and Linda tastes like mint. There are many articles that analyze Linda’s synesthesia but few articles approach the text through the lens of disability studies. In this article, I employ feminist disability studies and diaspora studies to argue that Linda's identity as a disabled transracial adoptee allow her to seek out additional forms of affiliation and kinship. By constructing an alternative family tree based on affiliation with a disability, Linda begins to process the racial melancholia associated with the transracial adoptee experience.
Ong, Amanda. 2020. "Finding Tender Roots: Affiliation, Disability, and Racial Melancholia in Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth." Journal of Feminist Scholarship 17 (Fall): 64-80. 10.23860/jfs.2020.17.05.
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