Synopses & Reviews
Imagine being born into a world where everything about you the shape of your nose, the look of your hair, the place of your birth designates you as an undesirable, an inferior, a menace, no better than a cockroach, something to be driven away and ultimately exterminated. Imagine being thousands of miles away while your family and friends are brutally and methodically slaughtered. Imagine being entrusted by your parents with the mission of leaving everything you know and finding some way to survive, in the name of your family and your people.
Scholastique Mukasonga's Cockroaches is the story of growing up a Tutsi in Hutu-dominated Rwanda the story of a happy child, a loving family, all wiped out in the genocide of 1994. A vivid, bitterwsweet depiction of family life and bond in a time of immense hardship, it is also a story of incredible endurance, and the duty to remember that loss and those lost while somehow carrying on. Sweet, funny, wrenching, and deeply moving, Cockroaches is a window onto an unforgettable world of love, grief, and horror."
Mukasonga unsparingly resurrects the horrors of the Rwandan geocide while lyrically recording the quieter moments of daily life with her family--a moving tribute to all those who are displaced, who suffer.
Mukasonga's extraordinary, lyrical, and heartbreaking book ... is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about the endurance of the human spirit and who hopes for a better world.
-- Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Los Angeles Review of Books
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, 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.