The best books about the Rwandan genocide 📚

Browse the best books on the Rwandan genocide as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You

By Hanna Jansen

Why this book?

This is a beautifully written account of how 8-year-old Jeanne d'Arc Umubyeyi (Dédé) escaped the 1994 massacre of the Tutsi ethnic group at the hands of the Huti tribe. Jeanne was the only member of her family to survive. The horror of what she went through is vividly recounted in Jeanne’s words and those of her adoptive mother Hanna Jansen, who adopted her and brought her to Germany. 

It is a very powerful, true, story. I had heard of the Rwandan massacre, but knew little about it till I read this novel. 

I love the book and have re-read it…

From the list:

The best children’s books about refugees and asylum seekers

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Book cover of Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa

Rules of the Wild: A Novel of Africa

By Francesca Marciano

Why this book?

A novel that reads like a reportage, almost a documentary, on contemporary (the Nineties) life in Kenya for the small and influential (but not rich) community of “white Kenyans”: some native of Kenya, some adoptive sons and daughters of the country that invented the safari a century ago and that is the main hub for all news organizations in the continent. So, reporters, conservationists, dreamers, adventures, misfits, eccentrics populate this hugely evocative and partially autobiographical book that has some of the best “sound bites” on the question we are often asked: Why You Love Africa?

From the list:

The best books about post colonial life in Africa

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Book cover of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur

Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur

By Ben Kiernan

Why this book?

This book is the first global history of genocide and is indispensable for understanding the phenomenon of genocide. What is so useful about the book is not merely its broad coverage but Kiernan's masterful analyses of genocides occurring in widely different times and places.
From the list:

The best books on the comparative history of violence

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Book cover of Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

By Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Philippe I. Bourgois

Why this book?

The editors of this volume are two of the most important and influential medical anthropologists in the world and major scholars of violence. In addition to collecting a set of useful texts on violence, the introduction to the volume is a piece of writing that I have returned to many times.
From the list:

The best books on the comparative history of violence

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