Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families. London: Picador, 2015.
I don’t know a lot about the Rwandan genocide. All I really know is that Tutsis were slaughtered by Hutus. I have no knowledge of the history or particulars the way one does, say, the Holocaust. I read the first couple of chapters of this book for the course, Writing Apocalypse: Histories and Speculation, at university, and watched an interview with Gourevitch for the same course. I was impressed with what I read and heard. This book will undoubtedly be difficult to read, as such content generally is, but I hope to learn a lot from it.
First Sentence (Preface)
‘Is genocide a suitable subject for literature?’1
First Sentence (Chapter 1)
‘In the province of Kibungo, in eastern Rwanda, in the swamp- and pastureland near the Tanzanian border, there’s a rocky hill called Nyarubuye with a church where many Tutsis were slaughtered in mid-April of 1994.’2
Stewart has a lot of praise for this book, and for Gourevitch as a writer. I am looking forward to reading it.3
First Sentence (Prologue)
‘In the southern hill town of Gikongoro, the electricity had failed for the night; the Guest House bar was lit by a half dozen candles, and the eyes of the three soldiers who invited me to drink glowed the color of blood oranges.’4
What a superb first sentence! The language is evocative. The author juxtaposes the mundane (candles, a blackout, a guest house) with the sinister (soldiers, eyes the colour of blood oranges), setting the scene for the story to come. Wonderful!