As we once again observe Genocide Awareness Month and continue to promote our production of Miracle in Rwanda with Prime Stage Theatre, we are pleased to share this new booklist from our librarian, Ryan Woodward. For any questions or book recommendations, you can contact Ryan at rwoodward@hcpgh.org.

Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda by Roméo Dallaire ISBN-13: 978-0786715107

Assigned as a United Nations peacekeeper in Rwanda, General Dallaire chronicles his experience as an unsupported rescuer during the 1994 genocide, who for years has struggled to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder.

We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip J. Gourevitch  ISBN-13: 978-0312243357

Taking its title from a letter written by a Tutsi pastor to his church president, Gourevitch’s book is one of the best comprehensive looks at the events that led to the Rwandan genocide as well as early attempts at how the surviving country could move forward.

Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfeld ISBN-13: 978-1590512739

Contrasting the beauty of the Rwanda countryside and culture with the brutality of the 1994 genocide, Hatzfeld relays a horrific account as witnessed by survivors. Perhaps more shocking and difficult of a read than its predecessor, Machete Season, Life Laid Bare is one of the most important works on the subject.  

Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak by Jean Hatzfeld ISBN-13: 978-0374280826

Disturbing and informative, Jean Hatzfeld’s interviews with perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide illustrate the frightening and rapid abdication of moral responsibility during times of crisis.

Defining the Horrific: Readings on the Holocaust and Genocide in the 20th Century by William Hewitt ISBN-13: 978-0131100848

This collection examines how genocide and the Holocaust have defined the tragic contours of the twentieth century.

Left To Tell: Discovering God Admist the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculée Ilibagiza ISBN-13: 978-1401944322

The triumphant story of a young woman’s journey through the darkness of genocide, experiences in hiding, and a newfound appreciation of hope and faith will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering, and loss.

Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jansen ISBN-13: 978-1575059273

Based on the real-life experiences of the author’s daughter, this middle school level book tells the story of surviving the Rwanda genocide through a young person’s perspective.

The Bone Woman: A Forensic Anthropologist’s Search for Truth in the Mass Graves of Rwanda, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo by Clea Koff ISBN-13: 978-1400060641

A young forensic anthropologist’s difficult work of exhuming mass graves in the aftermath of genocide leads to justice for the victims and some measure of relief to their families.

Witness to Genocide: The Children of Rwanda: Drawings by Child Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 by Richard A. Salem ISBN-13: 978-0377003309

Art and drawings by child survivors of the Rwanda genocide reflect the trauma they endured as well as their hopes and aspirations for a new Rwanda.

Deogratias, A Tale of Rwanda (graphic novel) by J.P. Stassen ISBN-13: 978-1596431034

This fictionalized graphic novel is a typical coming of age story set, however, in the aftermath of a national genocide. 

The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others by Ervin Staub  ISBN-13: 978-0521528801

Professor Staub attempts to understand the roots of goodness and evil from a lifelong study of harmful or altruistic behavior.

Media and Mass Atrocity: The Rwanda Genocide and Beyond by Allan Thompson ISBN-13: 978-1928096726

Media and Mass Atrocity revisits the case of Rwanda, but also examines how the nexus between media and mass atrocity has been shaped by the dramatic rise of social media.

Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing by James E. Waller ISBN-13: 978-0195314564

Social psychologist James Waller outlines the evolutionary forces that shape human nature, the individual dispositions that are more likely to engage in acts of evil, and the context of cruelty in which these extraordinary acts can emerge.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya ISBN-13: 978-0451495327

Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks.

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