Kibogo

by

Translated from by

Published: September 13, 2022

$18.00

ISBN: 9781953861368, eisbn 9781953861375
This item will be released on September 13, 2022.

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Book Description

Kibogo’s story is reserved for the evening’s end, when women sit around a fire drinking honeyed brew, when just a few are able to stave off sleep. With heads nodding, one faithful storyteller will weave the old legends of the hillside, stories which church missionaries have done everything in their power to expunge. To some, Kibogo’s tale is founding myth, celestial marvel, magic incantation, bottomless source of hope. To white priests spritzing holy water on shriveled, drought-ridden trees, it looms over the village: forbidden, satanic, a witchdoctor’s hoax. All debate the twisted roots of this story, but deep down, all secretly wonder – can Kibogo really summon the rain?

Mukasonga’s recounts, in four beautifully woven parts, the clash between ancient Rwandan beliefs and the missionaries’ determination to replace them with European Christianity. When a rogue priest is defrocked for fusing the gospels with the martyrdom of Kibogo, a fierce clash of cults ensues. Swirling with the heady smell of wet earth and flashes of acerbic humor, Mukasonga brings to life the vital mythologies that imbue the Rwandan spirit. In doing so, she gives us a tale of disarming simplicity and profound universal truth.

PRAISE FOR SCHOLASTIQUE MUKASONGA



The Barefoot Woman is simultaneously a powerful work of witness and memorial, a loving act of reconstruction, and an unflinching reckoning with the Rwandan Civil War. In sentences of great beauty and restraint, Mukasonga rescues a million souls from the collective noun ‘genocide,’ returning them to us as individual human beings who lived, laughed, meddled in each other's affairs, worked, decorated their houses, raised children, told stories. An essential and powerful read.
Zadie Smith on The Barefoot Woman


Mukasonga is a master of subtle shifts in register – a skill inherited, perhaps, from the Rwandan traditions of intricate courtesy and assiduous privacy that Stefania maintained. She turns everything over restlessly: In her prose, poignant reminiscences sharpen into bitter ironies, or laments reveal flashes of comedy, determination, defiance.
Julian Lucas, The New York Times on The Barefoot Woman


Radiant with love... The Barefoot Woman powerfully continues the tradition of women’s work it so lovingly recounts. In Mukasonga’s village, the women were in charge of the fire. They stoked it, kept it going all night, every night. In her work – six searing books and counting – she has become the keeper of the flame.
Parul Sehgal, The New York Times on The Barefoot Woman


Haunted though they are by the memory of the unspeakable atrocities visited on her family and her people, these stories by Scholastique Mukasonga breathe upon a vanished world and bring it to life in all its sparkling multifariousness.
J. M. Coetzee on Igifu


A profound love of family and the Tutsi tradition infuses, suffuses, and animates Mukasonga's stories of the Rwandan genocide, the slaughter of her people. To mention “love” in the same sentence with “genocide” may appear odd, even indecent, but Mukasonga's brilliant writing (translated excellently by Jordan Stump) encompasses the two.
Lynne Tillman on Igifu


Mukasonga carefully attends to how individuals’ attempts to negotiate unspeakable tragedy can lead to sad, odd, and even grimly funny situations . . . Igifu is full of deeply human moments. Taken as a whole, it’s an impressive and affecting work of art.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review on Igifu


What Scholastique Mukasonga accomplishes with this collection is nothing short of alchemy. There is scalpel-sharp precision melded with regenerative soulfulness at play here. Mukasonga is a genius and her work should be savored again and again.
Diriye Osman


Mukasonga’s formidable talent turns this novel about Rwandan girls in a Catholic high school into a masterful story about genocide, colonialism, and all the ways that the world can manipulate and destroy the aspirations of girls. This is a deeply moving exploration of human cruelties – and the stubborn hope that rests in each difficult moment. This is a book for our times
Maaza Mengiste on Our Lady of the Nile


Scholastique Mukasonga has wrought pain, grief and anger into art. Our Lady of the Nile demands that we ask ourselves how and where violence begins, and offers a clear-eyed view of a world falling apart. It is an important contribution to the literature of witness to Rwanda’s agony.
Aminatta Forna on Our Lady of the Nile