OVERRIDE

Rwanda Means the Universe

A Native's Memoir of Blood and Bloodlines

Louise Mushikiwabo and Jack Kramer

St. Martin's Press

Mushikiwabo is a Rwandan working as a translator in Washington when she learns that most of her family back home has been killed in a conspiracy meticulously planned by the state. First comes shock, then aftershock, three months of it, during which her worst fears are confirmed: The same state apparatus has duped millions of Rwandans into butchering nearly a million of their neighbors.
Years earlier, her brother Lando wrote her a letter she never got until now. Urged on by it, she rummages into their farm childhood, and into family corners alternately dark, loving, and humorous. She searches for stray mementos of the lost, then for their roots. What she finds is that and more---hints, roots, of the 1994 crime that killed her family. Her narrative takes the reader on a journey from the days the world and Rwanda discovered each other back to colonial period when pseudoscientific ideas about race put the nation on a highway bound for the 1994 genocide.
Seven years of full-time collaboration by two writers---and the faith of family and friends---went into this emotionally charged work. Rwanda Means the Universe is at once a celebration of the lives of the lost and homage to their past, but it’s no comfortable tribute. It’s an expression of dogged hope in the face of modern evil.


BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One
In-laws, Outlaws, and a Pratfall from Grace
 
I met a man once who told me about a pigeon that his cook fixed for him in Cairo. He said it looked as if the houseboy had just shot the bird with a pellet gun and it crash-landed on his plate. Its drumsticks were splayed, head twisted sideways, wings akimbo, tail in the air.
 
That's pretty much how Juvenal Habyarimana met his end. Shot from the sky like a pigeon.
 
He dies, and wherever you look, tender shoots come suddenly and enormously abloom. For something like four years, and on his orders, men
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REVIEWS

Praise for Rwanda Means the Universe

" This wonderful book, whose narrative weaves history on a truly epic and yet human scale, tells the story of a family in Rwanda whose world is about to crash into ruins. This is a brilliant and unique perspective on one of the milestone events of the twentieth century -- the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It provides all of us a deeper understanding of what happened. At last, in these pages, we hear the voice of the people of Rwanda. "

-- Linda Melvern , author of Conspiracy to Murder and A People Betrayed
" This wonderful book, whose narrative weaves history on a truly epic and yet human scale, tells the story of a family in Rwanda whose world is about to crash into ruins. This is a brilliant and unique perspective on one of the milestone events of the twentieth century -- the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. It provides all of us a deeper understanding of what happened. At last, in these pages, we hear the voice of the people of Rwanda. "

-- Linda Melvern , author of Conspiracy to Murder and A People Betrayed

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Louise Mushikiwabo and Jack Kramer

  • Louise Mushikiwabo was born and raised in Kigali and educated at the National University of Rwanda and at the University of Delaware after immigrating to the United States in 1986. She is active as a public speaker on Rwanda-related issues, works as a public relations consultant, and lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband.

    Jack Kramer is a reporter and ex-marine who has covered six wars as well as Rwanda, Algeria, the oil crisis, Saudi Arabia, the revolution in Iran, and the civil rights movement in the Deep South. His articles have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The Washington Post, Business Week, Time, and The Wall Street Journal. The author of a memoir, Travels with the Celestial Dog, Kramer lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife
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    Rwanda Means the Universe

    A Native's Memoir of Blood and Bloodlines

    Louise Mushikiwabo and Jack Kramer

    • e-Book

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    St. Martin's Press

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