South Carolina ETV

Walter Edgar's Journal

The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget


Friday - March 19, 2010


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About This Show

Pushcart Prize-winning journalist Andrew Rice joins Dr. Edgar to talk about his book The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget. He tells us that he hadn't set out for Uganda to write a murder mystery—but he surely found one. Rice's book is his multi-layered meditation on history and reconciliation in modern-day Africa, where he explores the 30-year-old mystery of Eliphaz Laki, who disappeared during the reign of Idi Amin. "I started off writing the book as history," says Rice. "As time went on, it became obvious that the past was ever-present in Uganda. All of these elements that I found myself writing about were not merely historical curiosities, but facts that exposed the underlying dynamics of the country's present-day politics." A lot of sleuthing and old-school reporting led Rice to Duncan Laki, who returned from his new home in the United States to lead the reporter to the site of his father's death. For four years, Andrew Rice followed the trial, crossing Uganda to investigate Amin's legacy and the limits of reconciliation. At once a mystery, a historical accounting, and a portrait of modern Africa, The Teeth May Smile but the Heart Does Not Forget is above all an exploration of how—and whether—the past can be laid to rest.


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