Phong Nha, the Making of an American Smile
Author: Tammy Nguyen
Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2020)
Phong Nha, the Making of an American Smile is a story about a girl who was born missing two of her front teeth and the journey it took to correct this defect. It is also a story about cave formations in Phong Nha, Vietnam; a manmade island called Forest City located along the Strait of Malacca; and the famous tale of three prisoners staring at shadows in a cave. As Nguyen’s ranging narrative moves through autobiography, politics, geology, and philosophy, it reveals fissures in the notion of shared truth while illuminating how stories, true or not, often serve as moral compasses.
This pamphlet is part of UDP’s 2020 Pamphlet Series: twenty commissioned essays on collective work, translation, performance, pedagogy, poetics, and small press publishing. The pamphlets are available for individual purchase and as a subscription. Each offers a different approach to the pamphlet as a form of working in the present, an engagement at once sustained and ephemeral.
Edition of 1,000