Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I'm Not Leaving” as Want to Read:
I'm Not Leaving
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I'm Not Leaving

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  72 reviews
I'm Not Leaving –
Rwanda through the eyes of the only American to remain in the country throughout the 1994 genocide.

Wilkens writes:
It must have been about the 2nd week of the genocide that I got the idea of talking on a cassette recorder, to record what was happening around me. I honestly did not know if I was going to survive this dark time, and if I didn't survive I wan
Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I'm Not Leaving, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I'm Not Leaving

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  346 ratings  ·  72 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of I'm Not Leaving
Valliya Rennell
1.75 stars

Disclaimer: Just because I personally didn't enjoy this book DOES NOT MEAN that I think that the Rwandan Genocide is an irrelevant topic and in no way am I attempting to undermine or disrespect those who perished in this conflict. I fully acknowledge that that was a dark chapter in our history and should be remembered and held in our highest regard.

I'm Not Leaving by Carl Wilkens is a memoir that talks about Wilkens' life during the Rwandan Genocide and the stories of many those who he
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want the unvarnished gore of the horrific events of the Rwandan genocide you need the read another book. In this book Carl introduces us to the people around him during this time and allows us to see what he experienced. It is a story about humanity, both the good and the bad. It is a story that brings into sharp focus the importance of simply taking action. Who would think of asking a " bad guy" to help save some of the people his "bad guy group" are determined to kill? Carl thought of i ...more
Elliot Mullen
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who read non-fictions and are brave.
The non-fiction book I read, called "I'm not leaving" by Carl Wilkens, was about the Rwanda Genocide, and how Carl Wilkens was the only american to stay in Rwanda during the genocide. Before reading this book, I did research on the Rwanda Genocide, so I knew what Carl Wilkens was talking about. When I was ready to read the book after I had acquired some background knowledge, my expectation was that It was going to open my eyes about the horrors that some third world countries have to endure, and ...more
James Rolon
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not Leaving

In the book "I'm not leaving" by Carl Wilkens, I must admit it was not my favorite read. When reading the synopsis of the book the author states "It is about the choices people made, actions people took, courage people showed, and sacrifices people gave in the face of the genocide", although the author did indeed give individual stories on how everyone he encountered showed some type of courage and sacrifice; I expected a lot more detail on their stories and how the genocide was e
Megan Tomlinson
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm Not Leaving by Carl Wilkens provides detailed and first hand experience of the situation in Kigali before and after the genocide. To summarize, the genocide occurred in Rwanda and was the mass murder of Tutsi and moderate Hutu by members of the majority. Wilkens’ was director of the Adventist Development Relief Agency at the time and as a foreign national was designated to leave Rwanda for safety. This is where his adventure begins, Wilkens’ sends his family off to safety and despite the iss ...more
Kathie Vaughan
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book for 2 reasons: it is a first-hand account of what he experienced based on recordings he made while there, and it relays the effect our actions have on the people around us. We never live in a bubble. When we cannot understand how others choose to act, we can still handle ourselves in an honorable manner to affect changes that matter.
Pashew Majeed
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carl Wilkens has a very powerful story to tell. I was inspired by his courage and love of the other. I never forget when I asked him if I could hug him after he gave a talk for students at the University of Cincinnati. He moved people while talking.
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would you jeopardize your own life for the hundred lives of another nation? How much heart does it take to leave your family to put your own life at sacrifice? Sometimes it's not about, doing whats right, but more so whats humane. I'm Not Leaving by Carl Wilkens is a book on a traveler who decides to stay in Rwanda to aid in the time of genocide in 1994. The book begins with Wilkins saying goodbye to his wife and kids, with a promise to return. Having them evacuate Rwanda so that he can stay beh ...more
Sep 15, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

A flaming dogshit disguised as book. Basically your typical White missionary with a Christ Complex points out why he’s superior to most everyone else. Avoid…studiously.
Santiago Londoño Rosas
I have a great story about this book.
When I was in school, Carl Wilkens, the author of this book, was invited to do a conference. I remember he talked about his experience being the only American in Rwanda during its Civil War.
In the end, he gave out a few books and I was fortunate to get one! I wasn't into reading during my school years so it was years later that I read it and it became one of my favourite books!
It was my first signed book by the author!
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m Not Leaving is a book written by Carl Wilkens, in a first person perspective of what he witnessed to be genocide, the stomach churning, unpleasant word that most of us would rather not think about as it brings many different (and horrifying) pictures to our head. Wilkens was one of the very few American people who decided to stay in Rwandan territory while the tribe of the Hutu targeted and tragically killed the Tutsi tribe, which was a small inferior tribe at the time. The reason why Wilken ...more
Alexis Patterson
Would you stay in a dangerous area with your family knowing that you could be killed at any given moment? That is exactly what Carl Wilkens did in the book I’m not leaving. Carl Wilkens and his wife Teresa decide to stay in Rwanda during one of the most famous Genocides known to man. This Genocide was the extermination of all Tutsi and moderate Hutu members by the Hutu tribe in Rwanda Africa. Although the Genocide started in 1990, it really took off in the year of 1994. One thing that you are go ...more
Amanda Peña
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I'm Not Leaving., written by Carl Wilkens did meet my expectations. This book is about the Rwanda Genocide and what Wilkens experienced as the last U.S. citizen who stayed in Rwanda during the genocide. When he came by Freedom a few weeks ago, he made it clear that this book was written to provide his point of view during the genocide and that it would be best for all us to also look into other books and documentaries about the genocide, so that we could have a better understanding of it all. In
Corey Rigsby
The book I’m Not Leaving by Carl Wilkins is not just about a mass genocide that happened in Rwanda. It skips around the genocidal violence and we see stories about compassion, justice, and love. The book doesn't focus on the hatred and slaughter that went on. It jumps into the lives that Wilkins met while he was living there. All of the stories you read involve relationships that Carl makes with his neighbors and because of these, they end up saving his life. When the mass genocide started peopl ...more
Mireya Adame
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m Not Leaving by Carl Wilkens is memoir of a man who decided to live in Rawanda during the genocide of the Tutsi in hopes that by staying he could at least help out the two people who were working in his home. Wilkens’ intention with having published this book is for people to begin to understand what it was truly like through the eyes of someone who was actually there and that this will help spread awareness of how grave a genocide can be in hopes of preventing them in the future. In this sto ...more
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4. As Good as Gold:

This book met my expectations. Considering that it was an autobiography/first hand account of a historical event, there was no errors in statements and the “research” was reliable. The content of the book toiled with my emotions which is a quality that I enjoy when reading a book. It spoke about all of the ups and downs of Carl Wilkens’ stay in Rwanda and it was fascinating learning about how he got by and survived through the genocide. Although that it is first hand accounts
Art King
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since those awful 100 days in 1994, I've heard Carl speak several times about his experiences during the Rwandan holocaust. I thought this book would be a good recap of what happened. I wasn't prepared for what is actually here. In this slim book, Carl tells the unadorned story, day-by-day. He doesn't sanitize it or Hollywoodize it, he just tells the story. Here is stark terror, chaos, loneliness. Here is life and death decisions piling up on one another. Here is one man living out the most basi ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had the honor of meeting Carl and Teresa Wilkens last August, and they are some of the nicest people I've ever met. Reading Carl's story was inspiring. It's got me thinking about the work I'll be doing in Uganda in two weeks. While I won't be driving through bombs and gunfire to deliver supplies to orphanages, I will still be helping those who need it. I just hope I can come close to doing how much Carl was able to throughout the 1994 genocide.

It was also interesting to hear about the Hotel De
I think I enjoyed this book so much more after knowing I had a personal connection to someone who met and travelled with Mr. Wilkens. Soon after completing this book, my friend, Tim, gave a talk about his experiences in the summer with Carl, and then we got to Skype with Carl. It was incredible speaking with him and talking about what he believes is going on now in Rwanda and how people feel there.
Monica L
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While it was fascinating and oddly timely to read this, the writing was very hard to get through. Relatively rudimentary, which seemed to create a separation between the actual horrors of the atrocities and the reader.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donated
I’m Not Leaving
175 pages

Rwanda through the eyes of the only American to remain in the country through the 1994 genocide. While the stories written here happened during the genocide, this is not another book about genocide. It is about choices people made, actions people took courage people showed and sacrifices people gave in the face of genocide.

“During the genocide, things that seemed so ordinary in normal times, like a mother holding her child, touched something very deep inside of me a
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have personally lost count of the number of books that I read on the Rwandan genocide. The more I read, the more I fall into disbelief of how this all happened under the eyes and noes of the whole world without batting an eye.

This book chronicles Carl's almost suicidal decision to stay when almost everyone else left, and how he managed to help keep the orphanages running in Kigali despite the close calls and the daily encounters of the Interahamwe. (genocidal militia that were the driving for
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rating of the book is mainly for the writing style/way the book has been put together.

I read this book after another book about rwanda called 'Left to Tell' which I thought was written much better and gave a much better 'feel' on what was going on every day.

While it's definitely worth reading about the atrocities that happened in Rwanda in 1994 I don't think this book is the best one to be the first to read about it.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buys, memoirs, for-school
I’m really blessed to have heard Carl Wilkens speak at the Ath and to have sat at the head table with him. He gave a tangential, funny, moving speech that received a standing ovation, and that got me excited enough to snag a copy of his book on my way out. Uh, the writing’s not great, but I can hear him saying every word in this book in my mind. Anyway, glad to know that ND had him speak, and glad to have that connection.
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard Carl speak at our Rotary and was so moved, I couldn’t wait to read his book. I was young at the time of the genocide and never really learned a lot about it. I couldn’t put the book down. Its heart wrenching and upsetting what the “government” was doing. Carl changed so many lives by staying in Rwanda. I highly recommend this book.
Andrea Nord
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grabbed this at the last minute because we needed a read-aloud for a family car trip. Thought provoking, and more uplifting than I expected a book about genocide to be. Wished for a little more historical context though.
Peg Willis
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The higher road

Carl Wilkins leaves no doubt in the reader's mind that self-preservation is a distant second to just doing the right thing. An excellent book, unfortunately massacred by Kindle's formatting.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible book. There are important lessons about humanity to be learned from this book. Instead of painting a graphic, depressing view of the genocide, Wilkens shows the compassionate community of people who banded together to save others and selflessly risked their lives.
Myra Lane
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an incredible story from an incredible man. It is a great introduction book to the Rwandan Genocide from a westerners perspective
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was about the genocide in Rwanda. But, instead of focusing on the horrific slaughter, it detailed the many individual acts of courage that allowed many to survive.
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
I'm not leaving- Kevin Park 1 2 Jan 19, 2017 06:38PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • La Fin de la nuit
  • Clifford's Blues
  • Monsters of River and Rock: My Life as Iron Maiden’s Compulsive Angler
  • Cowboy Song: The Authorised Biography Of Philip Lynott
  • Sombrero Fallout
  • Willard and His Bowling Trophies
  • Therése Desqueyroux. Öö lõpp
  • White Rat
  • The Daughters of Kobani: A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice
  • The Bloody Reign of Slayer
  • Dreaming of Babylon
  • Thérèse Desqueyroux
  • Closer You Are: The Story of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices
  • Golden in Death (In Death, #50)
  • A Very Easy Death
  • Mystery at Lake Placid (Screech Owls, #1)
  • Sweep with Me (Innkeeper Chronicles, #4.5)
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
1 likes · 0 comments