A riveting tale of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbours began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder.
In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Clare, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries, searching for safety-perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.
When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States, where she embarked on another journey, ultimately graduating from Yale.
Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.
In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, 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. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 428 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 28 mm
'A riveting story and one that, somehow, gives hope too' - Stylist
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“Honest, raw and eye opening memoir of the refugee experience”
I came to this book completely ignorant of the Rwandan genocide or the refugee experience. And although this is just the story of one girl, one family, I feel I have learned so much. Not only the timeline and events,... More
“Powerfully, emotional book”
A wonderful yet harrowing book about a girl and her small, broken family who escaped the war in Rwanda.
Full of insight and detail, about life as a refugee and what becomes of you when its all over.
“Powerful and determined.”
Clemantine Wamariya's memoir of her childhood escaping the conflict in Rwanda is profound, emotional and so, so, so powerful. Determined to not be seen as a victim, Wamariya weaves through her life as a young... More
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