Kasa Cotugno's Reviews > Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
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's review
Aug 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: genre-biography-memoir, arc, subject-immigration-experience
Read in August, 2009

As in Dave Eggers' spendid WHAT IS THE WHAT ("WITW"), this book tells the saga of how Deogratias, a traumatized man fleeing the horrors of genocide and comfort of the familiar, lands in America, making way without even knowing the language, through determination and courage and not a little luck. Deo is blessed with having met the right people at the right time, but the person who emerges through Kidder's pages has such a vibrant, winning personality, that it is not impossible to believe that absolute strangers would attempt to help him out, even supposed enemies in his native land. Another benefit of this book is the clearest explanation I have read so far of the difference between the terms Hutu and Tutsi.

As with WITW's Valentino Deng, Deo is able to thrive and to use his fame in a beneficial way for his lost countryland. The passages dealing with atrocities are, as always, very difficult to read. And the writing is not as lyrical as in WITW. But the vastness of the subject matter is handled well.

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