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THE BAREFOOT WOMAN

Scholastique Mukasonga

  • Original Title: LA FEMME AUX PIEDS NUS
  • Publication date: February 2008
  • Publisher: GALLIMARD
  • Country: RW
  • 160 print pages
  • Factual/Memoirs

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: Rwanda
  • Themes: FAMILY, Maternity, Filiation, PEOPLE facing life, Looking back on one's life, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Racism, Discriminations, War and other conflicts, CHARACTERS, Strong Female Character, Death, Violence, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment

Pitch

A moving, unforgettable tribute to a Tutsi woman who did everything to protect her children from the Rwandan genocide, by the daughter who refuses to let her family's story be forgotten.

Comments

Longlisted for the National Book Award 2019, in the Translated Literature category

Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga experienced from childhood the violence and humiliation of the ethnic conflicts that shook her country. She settled in France in 1992, only 2 years before the brutal genocide of the Tutsi swept through Rwanda. In the aftermath, she learned that 37 of her family members had been massacred. Twelve years later, Gallimard published her autobiographical account INYENZI OU LES CAFARDS, which marked Mukasonga's entry into literature. Her first novel, NOTRE-DAME DU NIL, won the Ahamadou Kourouma prize and the Renaudot prize in 2012, as well as the Océans France Ô prize in 2013 and the French Voices Award in 2014. It has been optioned for film.

Summary

A moving, unforgettable tribute to a Tutsi woman who did everything to protect her children from the Rwandan genocide, by the daughter who refuses to let her family's story be forgotten.

The story of the author's mother, a fierce, loving woman who for years protected her family from the violence encroaching upon them in pre-genocide Rwanda. Recording her memories of their life together in spare, wrenching prose, Mukasonga preserves her mother's voice in a haunting work of art.

go further

  • Author’s biography

    Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga experienced from childhood the violence and humiliation of the ethnic conflicts that shook her country. She settled in France in 1992, only 2 years before the brutal genocide of the Tutsi swept through Rwanda. In the aftermath, she learned that 27 of her family members had been massacred. Twelve years later, Gallimard published her autobiographical account INYENZI OU LES CAFARDS, which marked Mukasonga's entry into literature. This was followed by LA FEMME AUX PIEDS NUS (2008, The Barefoot Woman) and L’IGUIFOU (2010), both widely praised. Her first novel, NOTRE-DAME DU NIL, won the Ahamadou Kourouma prize and the Renaudot prize in 2012, as well as the Océans France Ô prize in 2013 and the French Voices Award in 2014. It has been optioned for film.