Scholastique Mukasonga’s Cockroaches is a compelling chronicle of the author’s childhood in the years leading up to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In a spare and penetrating tone, Mukasonga brings to life the scenes of her family’s forced displacement from Rwanda to neighboring Burundi. With a view made lucid through time and pain, Mukasonga erodes the distance between her present and her past, resurrecting and paying homage to her family members who were massacred in the genocide. She captures not only the violence and pain of her childhood as a refugee in Burundi, and the torment of finding herself far from her family and Rwanda as the genocide erupted, but also, in movingly simple language, the beauty present in quiet, daily moments with her loved ones. As lyrical as it is tragic, Cockroaches is Mukasonga’s tribute to her family’s suffering and to the lingering grip of the dead on the living.