We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

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Picador, Sep 4, 1999 - Political Science - 368 pages
40 Reviews
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We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.

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

This remarkable debut book from Philip Gourevitch 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 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - renbedell - LibraryThing

An incredible recounting of the Rwandan genocide that sheds a lot of light across the atrocity of the different players and motivations involved. It is harrowing and chilling but also incredibly well written. Well worth the read whether you are interested in Rwandan history or not. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tinkerbellkk - LibraryThing

A very difficult topic that was researched and investigated very thoroughly. The situation in Rwanda and the lack of international intervention is shameful. I found this book hard to read but was glad ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Philip Gourevitch is a long-time staff writer at The New Yorker and a former editor of The Paris Review. He is the author of Standard Operating Procedure/The Ballad of Abu Ghraib, A Cold Case, and We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, which won numerous honors, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was counted by the Guardian among the 100 best nonfiction books of all time.

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