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Running the Riftby Naomi Benaron
Synopses & Reviews
Imagine that a man who was once friendly suddenly spewed hatred. That a girl who flirted with you in the lunchroom refused to look at you. That your coach secretly trained soldiers who would hunt down your family. Jean Patrick Nkuba is a gifted Tutsi boy who dreams of becoming Rwandas first Olympic medal contender in track. When the killing begins, he is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again is the race of his life.
Spanning ten years during which a small nation was undone by ethnic tension and Africas worst genocide in modern times, this novel explores the causes and effects of Rwandas great tragedy from Nkubas point of view. His struggles teach us that the power of love and the resilience of the human spirit can keep us going and ultimately lead to triumph.
"Set during the 1980s and '90s, Benaron's novel follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, an aspiring Olympic runner from Rwanda, as he struggles with the burdens of life in his home country and the growing conflict between Tutsi and Hutu people, which escalates and eventually leads to the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Narrator Marcel Davis produces a passable Rwandan accent; it is lilting and precise, but cuts in and out during dialogue. Davis narrates the rest of the book in an American accent. And while his reading is clear and well paced, this disparity only adds to the awkwardness of his attempt to capture the sound and rhythm of Rwandan speech and in the end undermines his performance. An Algonquin hardcover." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, this powerful debut novel describes the life of a young Tutsi boy who comes of age during the Rwandan genocide.
About the Author
Naomi Benaron earned an MFA from Antioch University and an MS in earth sciences from Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She teaches at Pima Community College and online through the Afghan Women's Writing Project. An advocate for African refugees in her community, she has worked extensively with genocide survivor groups in Rwanda. She has won the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction and the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. She is also an Ironman triathlete.
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