Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Author: Jean Hatzfeld
Translator: Linda Coverdale
In the late 1990s, French author and journalist Jean Hatzfeld made several journeys into the hilly, marshy region of the Bugesera, one of the areas most devastated by the Rwandan genocide of April 1994, where an average of five out of six Tutsis were murdered with machete and spear by their Hutu neighbors and militiamen. In the villages of Nyamata and N'tarama, Hatzfeld interviewed 14 survivors of the genocide, from orphan teenage farmers to the local social worker. In Life Laid Bare, the survivors of the Rwandan genocide speak for those who are no longer alive to speak for themselves; they tell of the deaths of family and friends in the churches and marshes to which they fled; and they attempt to account for the reasons behind the Tutsi extermination. For many of the survivors, "life has broken down," while for others, it has "stopped," and still others say that it "absolutely must go on."