We wish to inform you…, by Philip Gourevitch

I read this a month or so back but waited for a while to post because I couldn’t quite find the words. The full title of the book is We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. That sentence begins a letter from a small village in Rwanda to a local priest — asking for help in the ongoing genocide. The stories in the book are almost unbelievable. We become numb to all of this sometimes — in between the headlines on CNN about attacks in Iraq, or more deaths in Sudan. And while movies like "Hotel Rwanda" (and the excellent HBO Films picture "Sometimes in April") raise consciousness of the issues, you almost can’t help but start to think about these events as just stories. Not really real.

This book is a very good piece of work that explains the roots of the conflict in Rwanda, gives some insight into what it was like to really be there, and it helped me get my head around the enormity of the tragedy (sort of).

Pretty amazing book, I thought. I also watched "Sometimes in April" on HBO right around the same time, which helped. Haven’t seen "Hotel Rwanda" yet. Sometimes seems to me that words just fail in a context like this. And while I’m glad that I now understand just a glimpse of this series of events, I can’t help but wonder about all of the tragedies around the world now that don’t have books & movies about them.

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