Posts From Author: uganda

The Lie of Remembrance: Philip Gourevitch on the Rwandan Genocide

We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories From Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch NY: Picador, 1999 [first published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1998]; 356pp This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. In the hundred days that followed the downing of President Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane on April 6, 1994, at least eight hundred thousand people, mostly Tutsis, were killed in what the journalist and author Philip Gourevitch has called “the most efficient mass killing since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” (Rwanda is a country not much larger than Vermont; to put the numbers in perspective, the population of Vermont is less than seven hundred thousand.) Almost immediately, the genocide was followed by a colossal refugee crisis, as Hutus fearful of a Tutsi retaliation fled to Zaire (as it was then), Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Disease killed thousands. Retributive violence was widespread. The wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo that stretched halfway through the first decade of this century were an indirect consequence of what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Next year Gourevitch will publish a follow-up to his landmark 1998 account of the genocide, We Wish To Inform […]
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A Thousand Natural Shocks: The Novels of Susan Minot

Susan Minot’s latest book, Thirty Girls (Knopf, 2014), is her first novel in over a decade and a significant departure from her earlier work. The girls of the title are the real-life prisoners of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda captured from their convent school in 1996. Five died in captivity, and the last to escape returned to Uganda in 2009. Thirty Girls has been getting great reviews — the New York Times calls it “a novel of quiet humanity and probing intelligence” and says that “to ignore Minot’s book would be a serious mistake” (read Fiammetta Rocco’s full review here) — and we’re delighted to welcome Susan Minot to the House of SpeakEasy. Minot made her name with work of a less geopolitical hue. Her first novel, Monkeys, published in 1986, was a family saga, of which more below. This was followed by the collection Lust and Other Stories (1989), the historical novel Folly (1993), and the screenplay for Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty (1996). The latter was closely followed by Evening (1998), the opening chapter of which you can read here. In 2002 came Rapture, a novella that deconstructs a doomed relationship. Five years later a movie adaptation of Evening was released starring Vanessa Redgrave and Claire Danes and written by Minot and Michael Cunningham (The Hours). Quoting Hamlet, […]
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