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We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Stories From Rwanda

Philip Gourevitch

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

  • PEN Literary Award Winner

    National Book Critics Circle Awards Winner

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An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity.

This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title.

With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa.

Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity.

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We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families
Part OneLeontius, the son of Aglaion, was coming up from the Peiraeus, close to the outer side of the north wall, when he saw some dead bodies lying near the executioner, and he felt a desire to look at them, and at the same time felt disgust at the thought, and tried to turn aside. For some time he fought with himself and put his hand over his eyes, but in the end the desire got the better of him, and opening his eyes wide with his fingers he ran forward to the bodies, saying, "There you are, curse you, have your fill of
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Philip Gourevitch

  • Philip Gourevitch is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a contributing editor of the Forward. He has also written from Africa, Asia, and Europe for Granta, Harper's, and The New York Review of Books. Born in 1961, he lives in New York City.
  • Philip Gourevitch Copyright Andrew Brucker
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We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Stories From Rwanda

Philip Gourevitch

Guardian First Book Award - Nominee, L.A. Times Book Prize - Winner, PEN Literary Award Winner, National Book Critics Circle Awards Winner
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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