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Scholastique Mukasonga at the Cooper Union
September 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Scholastique Mukasonga discusses The Barefoot Woman, her loving, funny, devastating tribute to her mother.
Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga experienced from childhood the violence and humiliation of the ethnic conflicts that shook her country. In 1960, her family was displaced to the Bugesera district of Rwanda. Mukasonga was later forced to flee to Burundi, leaving behind her studies at the school of social work in Butare. She settled in France in 1992, only two years before the brutal genocide of the Tutsi swept through Rwanda. In the aftermath, Mukasonga 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 the publication of La femme aux pieds nus in 2008 and L’Iguifou in 2010, both widely praised. Her first novel, Notre-Dame du Nil, won the Ahmadou Kourouma prize and the Renaudot prize in 2012, as well as the 2013 Océans France Ô prize, and the 2014 French Voices Award, and was shortlisted for the 2016 International Dublin Literary award.