• Published 2.20.2024 with Algonquin Books.



    by Chantha Nguon (with Kim Green)


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  • Book Trailer

    Starring Clara Kim, the author's daughter and the audiobook narrator.

  • Events

    Nashville live events (with Chantha, Clara & Kim): 

    There's something for everyone:

    🎨🥂Want to sip and celebrate? Come to the launch on Tuesday.

    🍸🍜Want cocktails and Cambodian food? Come to Bastion on Sunday.

    📚🎤Want to hear a reading and book talk? Come to Hanna Bee/Bookshop Nashville on Wednesday 2/21 or Blakeford on Monday 2/26 .

    🧣Want to buy a Mekong Blue scarf? Get one at Julia Martin Gallery on 2/20 or Blakeford on 2/26.

    Salt Lake City live event (with Chantha & Clara):

    • Thursday, Feb. 29 @ 6:30pm - Reading & discussion at The Ruin

    Remote events (with Chantha, Clara & Kim):

    • Saturday, Feb. 24 @ 12-1:15pm ET - Transnational Literature Series Webinar co-hosted by Brookline Booksmith & lala Books. Get tickets here. 

    Scroll down for more detail about events.

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    Julia Martin Gallery 


    Tuesday, Feb. 20 @ 6-9pm

    In-person event


    Please join the authors and 21 female artists to celebrate the launch of Chantha Nguon's memoir at Julia Martin Gallery.


    Parnassus will offer books for sale, and Kim, Chantha, and her daughter Clara Kim, the audiobook narrator, will be available to sign copies. There's no formal presentation, so come and go anytime!


    1/3 of proceeds will go to the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center, 1/3 to the artists, and 1/3 to cover costs.


    444 Humphreys St, Nashville, TN 37203

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    Hanna Bee Coffee,  Hosted by The Bookshop Nashville


    Wednesday, Feb. 21 @ 6:30pm

    In-person event


    Please join the author, Chantha Nguon, and her daughter (& the audiobook narrator), Clara Kim, for a reading and discussion at Hanna Bee Coffee, hosted by The Bookshop Nashville.


    Event is free! Please RSVP here.


    1035 W Eastland Ave #1045, Nashville, TN 37206

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    Brookline Booksmith (Boston) & lala Books (Lowell, MA)


    Saturday, Feb. 24 @ 12:00-1:15pm ET

    Virtual event


    Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith and lala books in Lowell, Massachusetts for a virtual event with Chantha, Kim, and Clara to discuss and celebrate the release of Slow Noodles.


    The Transnational Series focuses on stories of migration, the intersection of politics and literature, and works in translation and is supported by the independent bookstore Brookline Booksmith.


    Get tickets here.

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    Pop-up at Bastion bar

    Sample Cambodian fare & visit with the authors & audiobook narrator


    Sunday, February 25, 2024 @ 5-8pm

    21+ only - In-person event


    Come by the bar at Bastion for an informal pop-up of Cambodian recipes from Chantha's book, prepared by Chantha's daughter (& audiobook narrator) Clara Kim, Meg Giuffrida, and their crew. We'll offer 5-6 à la carte items and serve from 5-8 (or until we run out). Bar specials will include a Cambodia-inspired cocktail.


    Sip, sample Cambodian fare, and visit with Chantha, Clara, and Kim at Bastion.


    434 Houston St STE 110, Nashville, TN 37203

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    Blakeford at Green Hills,  11 Burton Hills Blvd, Nashville


    Monday, Feb. 26 @ 3pm

    In-person event


    Clara will read a selection from Slow Noodles, and a Q&A and discussion will follow. We'll take audience questions and sign books after the talk.


    We'll have some copies on hand to sell, or you can bring your own for us to sign. We'll also have a limited selection of Mekong Blue scarves for sale.


    Park across Burton Hills Blvd. at the office park, then check in at the front desk when you enter. They'll direct you to Blakeford Hall.

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    The Ruin,  159 S Main St., Salt Lake City, UT


    Thursday, Feb. 29 @ 6:30pm

    21+ only - In-person event


    Please join the author, Chantha Nguon, and her daughter (& the audiobook narrator), Clara Kim, for a book event at The Ruin in Salt Lake City, Utah!


    Clara will read a selection from Slow Noodles, and a Q&A and discussion will follow. We'll take audience questions and sign books after the talk.


    We hope to have copies on hand—details TBA. But just in case, it's safer to pre-order and bring your copy to be signed. If you order now, your copy should be delivered or ready for pickup well before this event! (*note: The Ruin is a bar, so this is a 21+ event.)

  • About the Book


    Take a well-fed nine-year-old with a big family and a fancy education. Fold in 2 revolutions, 2 civil wars, and one wholesale extermination. Subtract a reliable source of food, life savings, and family members, until all are gone. Shave down childhood dreams for approximately two decades, until only subsistence remains.


    In Slow Noodles, Chantha Nguon recounts her life as a Cambodian refugee who loses everything and everyone—home, family, and country—all but the remembered tastes and aromas of her mother’s kitchen. She takes us back to the quiet rhythms of 1960s Battambang, her provincial hometown, before the dictator Pol Pot tore her country apart and exterminated more than a million Cambodians, including ethnic Vietnamese like Nguon and her family. Then, as an emigrant in Saigon, the author loses her mother, brothers, and sister and eventually flees to a refugee camp in Thailand. For two decades in exile, she survives by cooking in a brothel, serving drinks in a nightclub, making and selling street food, becoming a suture nurse, and weaving silk.


    Nguon’s irrepressible spirit and determination come through in this lyrical and inspirational memoir that includes more than twenty family recipes for dishes like chicken lime soup, green papaya pickles, and pâté de foie, as well as Khmer curries, stir-fries, and handmade bánh canh noodles. Through it all, recreating the dishes from her childhood becomes an act of resistance, of reclaiming her place in the world, of upholding the values the Khmer Rouge sought to destroy, and of honoring the memory of her beloved mother, whose “slow noodles” approach to healing and to cooking prioritized time and care over expediency.


    For readers who devoured Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner and The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, Slow Noodles is a testament to the power of food to keep alive a refugee’s connection to her past and spark hope for a beautiful life. 

  • Upcoming Events


    Stories on Sunday: Zoom Webinar with Hippocampus Magazine

    Stories on Sunday: Zoom Webinar with Hippocampus Magazine

    January 21, 2024 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EST

    A reading and Q&A with Chantha, Clara, and Kim, hosted by the editors of Hippocampus Magazine, who published the SLOW NOODLES excerpt heard round the world, and helped this book find a publishing home.
    View more details...
    Book Launch & All-Female Group Exhibition

    Book Launch & All-Female Group Exhibition

    Opening Reception: Tuesday, February 20, 2024

    Celebrate Chantha Nguon's life and work and the launch of her memoir at a women's group exhibition at Julia Martin Gallery.
    View more details...
  • Listen to a sample of the audiobook!

    Narrated by Chantha's daughter, Clara Kim.

  • About the Authors

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    Chantha Nguon

    Chantha Nguon was born in Cambodia and spent two decades as a refugee, until she was finally able to return to her homeland. She is the co-founder of Mekong Blue and the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center (SWDC), a social enterprise that offers a living wage, education, and social services to women and their families in rural northeastern Cambodia.


    A frequent public speaker, she has appeared at universities and on radio and TV news programs, including NPR’s Morning Edition. She cooks often for friends, family, and for private events.


    An excerpt from Slow Noodles in Hippocampus was named a Longreads Best Personal Essay in 2021.


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    Kim Green

    Kim Green is an award-winning writer and public radio producer based in Nashville. Her work has appeared in Fast Company, the New York Times, and on NPR’s Weekend Edition, Marketplace, and The New Yorker Radio Hour.


    A licensed pilot, she was formerly a flight instructor. Read more of her work at The Greenery blog.


  • Sample Dishes

    Dive into Khmer home cooking, from simple dinners & finger food to holiday feasts. 

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    No-Brainer Meal

    Easy recipes, familiar ingredients

    Stir-fried noodles (w/ meat or veg)

    Coconut sticky rice dessert

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    Khmer Favorites

    Popular & defining dishes

    Khor tamarind—a Battambang-style stew with pork and chicken

    Coconut sticky rice dessert

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    For Special Occasions

    Fancy food that's worth the effort

    Amok: Khmer-style fish curry

    Stir-fried morning glory with rice

    Bánh flan

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    Cambodian Breakfast

    Noodle soup for breakfast? YES!

    Kuy Teav—noodle soup with fun toppings

    Vietnamese iced coffee

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    Homemade Noodle Soup

    Chantha's mom's slowest noodles

    Bánh canhchicken soup w/ homemade rice noodles

    Vietnamese iced coffee

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    Vietnamese Specialties

    Dishes from next door

    Bánh xeo—crepe with pork & shrimp

    Vietnamese iced coffee


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    Vegetarian Friendly

    Dishes for veggie lovers

    Green curry with tofu, long beans, & eggplant

    Tofu fried with lemongrass & garlic

    Green papaya pickles

  • Schedule a Class

    Scroll down for dates, times, and prices.



    Scroll down & choose the class you want.


    Pay Online

    Click purchase button to go to EventBrite, where you can reserve and pay.



    We'll teach you to cook a meal, then sit down & eat it together.

  • Join our mailing list!

    We'll send news about the upcoming memoir and future events.

  • Contact us.

    Questions? Write to us in the form, and we'll get back to you.