Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains
Kidder is one of my favorite authors, and this must be one of his best books. It is really two short books in one. The first is the amazingly detailed account of a young man’s survival of the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda—yes, his escape threw him into the terrors of both—and nearly as terrifying, his survival in Manhattan. Deo’s is an extraordinary tale, and just when you’re sure that Kidder cannot know his every move, Part Two explains just how he does, in fact, know. Because I was so ignorant of the ethnic differences between the Hutus and Tutsis, I first read “Some Historical Notes” at the end of the book first, and that was helpful.