Scholastique Mukasonga { ebook Ebook } Notre Dame du Nil

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Igh school perched on the ridge of the Nile in order to become the feminine elite of the country and to escape the dangers of the outside world The book is a prelude to the Rwandan genocide and unfolds behind the closed do. I try really hard to keep up with what happens in the world but sometimes it is difficult to understand what happens in a foreign county a foreign culture and the horrific devastation of the genocide that occurred in Rwanda is no exception Sure I remember the news and yes I saw the movie Hotel Rwanda but still it is just so difficult to comprehend I wanted to read this book because I thought it would shed further light for me on happened thereThis is a small book that carries the seeds of the horrors yet to be in Rwanda The story takes place at an elite all girls boarding school We can see through the daily lives of the girls in this school the Hutus looking down on the Tutsi girls the politics in and outside of the school It s about organized religion a black Madonna an abusive priest the native beliefs and superstitions and a witch doctor a Tutsi girl elevated in the eyes of her family and neighbors because she was among the elite girls getting an education and the beginnings of the horrific eventsI have to admit that I did not understand some of what happened in this story but then how can we possibly understand what ultimately happened in the Rwanda Genocide Perhaps that is what the author is trying to impart just a little understanding of the horror that occurred there She succeeds in doing soI m sometimes a little bit leery of reading a book that has been translated because sometimes the language just doesn t flow in English as it might have in the original language That is not the case with this book which was originally published in French on 2012 and won several literary prizes I would recommend thisThanks to Steerforth Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this story

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Notre Dame du Nil

Ors of the school in the interminable rainy season Friendships desires hatred political fights incitation to racial violence persecutions The school soon becomes a fascinating existential microcosm of the true 1970s Rwanda. Also available on the WondrousBooks blog 35 stars This book is just what I needed to remind me why I decided to follow the reading around the world challenge It s such a good profile of the situation in Rwanda for the time period and even much after as the book is set before the 1994 Tutsi genocide that I couldn t help but feel carried away into the world of the bookOur Lady of the Nile delves deeply into the psychology of the regular Rwandans depicting their beliefs the struggles in society the aftermath of the Belgian colonial era the political issues and their effect on the small peopleI really enjoyed the simplicity of the narrative the rather uneducated girls who still believe in witch doctors or so called poisoners and who are trying to keep their own culture all the while feeling like they need to also be different white Belgian The book shows the discrepancy between the own and the other between what people want and what they think they should wantEver since seeing Hotel Rwanda I have been having a hard time coping with the senseless violence and this conflict between Hutu and Tutsi which was completely fabricated and artificial and was created by the Belgians in order to divide and conuer I have a really hard time grasping the idea that people would be as easily manipulated as to actually believe in this racial separation and even shed blood over it And yet they obviously are So I keep reading information about it trying to make myself understand While Our Lady of the Nile didn t solve it for me it definitely showed a different side of the problem as lived in a school for girlsI really enjoyed the setting of the book the intricate descriptions of the Rwandan society their beliefs the feelings of the young girls even the taste of the Rwandan food It was a breath of air from far far awayWhat I didn t like as much was the actual method of narration that the author used Rather than the reader being a participant in the events they were just stories that someone tells This made the book a bit repetitive because it just followed the flow of This is name she meets name and she starts telling her a story It could work in a different type of a book but in this case it just seemed very distracting because it took away from the flow of the bookEven despite that I think Our Lady of the Nile was a pretty nice book

summary Notre Dame du Nil

For her most recent work and first novel Notre Dame du Nil originally published in March 2012 with Gallimard in French Mukasonga immerses us in a school for young girls called Notre Dame du Nil The girls are sent to this h. Bringing a surprisingly light touch to the material Mukasonga investigates the disasters of Rwandan history building from the colonial period and culminating in the internal strife of genocide in 1994 in the microcosm of an all girls Catholic school in the 80s And so ominous political undercurrents are just one thread running beneath a web of other stories misplaced veneration of old colonial powers Rwandan folklore lurking at the fringes of official Christianity gorillas in the mountains and even a fantastic tangent on Isis not ISIS worship by perhaps crazed white ex colonials Isis tangents are generally to be encouraged I think as are folkloric impulses and the strange religious tensions between the school s namesake black painted Virgin Mary at the head of the Nile and the old believers in spirits and rituals are a great backdrop None of this can ever really explain the perhaps incomprehensible factors that eventually brought about genocide and Mukasonga doesn t really try to get at a complete picture by limiting the the scope to a single school and handful of teenage characters she s able to keep that thread as a fable on the manipulation of power but it still leaves me less fully informed than aware of how little I actually know about African history Regardless this is a fantastic funny intriguing discomfiting entry point into that conversation


10 thoughts on “Notre Dame du Nil

  1. says:

    There is no better lycee than Our Lady of the Nile Nor is there any higherWe're so close to heaven whispers Mother Superior The school

  2. says:

    A story of a Catholic girls school in the mountains of Rwanda set apart from society but not protected from the racial tensions that lead up to the genocide The conflicts between Tutsi and Hutu have always existed and at the time this novel is set the Belgian government has attempted to mandate mixing by reuir

  3. says:

    Bringing a surprisingly light touch to the material Mukasonga investigates the disasters of Rwandan history building from t

  4. says:

    A few years ago while reading William Golding's Lord of the Flies I was so furious at the author While showing the inherent evil that is present even in a civilized society how is it that the characters who are depicted are only little boys What about little girls? What about the children who do not adhere to the gender norms? I know that I am not flawless and while addressing human beings I often talk about t

  5. says:

    Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastiue Mukasonga translated from the French by Melanie Mauthner uses the backdrop of a girls’ school in Rwanda to underscore the seeds of the Rwandan genocideOur Lady of the Nile is a high school for daughters of

  6. says:

    I try really hard to keep up with what happens in the world but sometimes it is difficult to understand what happens in a foreign county a foreign culture and the horrific devastation of the genocide that occurred in Rwanda is no exception Sure I remember the news and yes I saw the movie Hotel Rwanda but still it is just so difficult to comprehend I wanted to read this book because I thought it would shed fur

  7. says:

    Short clear sketches of life in a Rwandan lycée circa the early 70s a world which I would have no idea about if not for this book This book was recommended to me by Brooklyn bookmatch when I reuested books by women in translation with a strong sense of place And it definitely has evocative descriptions of the school and the surrounding ar

  8. says:

    I've always thought that choosing a good topic was a important skill for non fiction writers And implicitly at least I've thought the same thing for novelists and poets I'm much less likely to read books that just mull over the same material Well Mukasonga chose a topic that's both very appealing to me nunsploitation and objectiv

  9. says:

    Also available on the WondrousBooks blog 35 stars This book is just what I needed to remind me why I decided to follow the reading around the world challenge It's such a good profile of the situation in Rwanda for the time period and even much after as the book is set before the 1994 Tutsi genocide that I couldn't help but feel carried away into the world of the bookOur Lady of the Nile delves deeply into the psychology of the regular Rwand

  10. says:

    A short easy flowing novel about a boarding school in Rwanda run by nuns and priests housing the elite of young girls ie the daughter's of the rich the army and the politiciansIt starts innocently enough describing the school that is

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