“How can you mourn your loved ones when they have no graves? How can you mourn without allowing them to sink into oblivion—a second death, for which you are then responsible?” These are the questions that drive Scholastique Mukasonga’s short story, Grief, an excerpt from Igifu appearing in The New Yorker this week. Mukasonga discusses Grief and more in an interview with Deborah Treisman.
“On TV, on the radio, they never called it genocide. As if that word were reserved. Too serious. Too serious for Africa. Yes, there were massacres, but there were always massacres in Africa. And these massacres were happening in a country that no one had ever heard of. A country that no one could find on a map. Tribal hatred, primitive, atavistic hatred: nothing to understand there. ‘Weird stuff goes on where you come from,’ people would tell her.”