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Slow Noodles: A Cambodian Memoir of Love, Loss, and Family Recipes

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by Chantha Nguon
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Poignant and wrenching, this account of one woman’s effort to reclaim her own past and that of her culture and country, begins in an open, airy kitchen in Cambodia where her mother cooked for the family.

But the wider scope of national and international politics would soon plunge Cambodia into a series of upheavals culminating in civil war and ultimately the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. From the age of nine onward, Chantha Nguon was a refugee, first in Saigon and then in Thailand, her family splintering.

Her resilience in the face of astonishing hardship is extraordinary and ultimately uplifting. As she recounts all that she endured, food is an unifying theme, sometimes representing generosity and bond, sometimes representing deprivation, loss, and resourcefulness. Recipes dot her account, often poetically told, connecting her to people and places which, for better or worse, have been lost.


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