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The Antelope's Strategy: Living in Rwanda After the Genocide Paperback – March 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0312429379 ISBN-10: 0312429371 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The horrors of communal violence give way to quieter torments in this harrowing collection of oral histories. Hatzfeld revisits Tutsi survivors and confessed Hutu killers he interviewed in Life Laid Bare and Machete Season after the latter were unexpectedly released from prison and returned to their homes.. The official Rwandan policy of reconciliation holds: Hutu-Tutsi relations are civil, and one génocidaire even marries a Tutsi woman whose relatives were slaughtered. But to Hatzfeld, the survivors reveal inner scars—their unappeasable sense of grief, dispossession and mistrust of their neighbors, the fillip of fear whenever they encounter Hutu farmers carrying their machetes, the bitterness that justice has been sacrificed for national recovery. (Less anguished, the pardoned Hutu perpetrators express a diplomatic repentance and relief at having escaped retribution.) Hatzfeld includes nightmarish scenes from the genocide; survivors recall running for their lives for weeks on end, regressing to the status of game animals as Hutu hunting bands cut down their families and friends. Just as haunting is the spiritual aftermath:  'I believed in honorable effort, decent behavior, the straight and narrow path,'  one Tutsi woman recalls,  '[but] from now on, I'm suspicious of moral maxims.'  (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Daring...Hatzfeld captures ordinary Rwandans at their most contemplative, working out the dilemma that will define the rest of their lives: How can survivors and killers share hilltops again?"--Jina Moore, The Christian Science Monitor

"Artfully written . . . a book that illustrates vividly the thorny realities that accompany survival and appeasement."--Nora Krug, The Washington Post

"Harrowing . . . Hatzfeld tackles the hardest questions of justice and reparations; of why some are broken or fall into despair while others are able to find anew some peace of mind and pleasure in life."---Anita Sethi, The Independent (UK)

 "An amazing look at the reconciliation of evil and forgiveness."--Vanessa Bush, Booklist

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312429371
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312429379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Strickler on December 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The first reviewer said things very well, so I will leave that as it is. But I live in Rwanda and am married to a Rwandan and I work here among many who were here and others who returned afterward. I find Hatzfield's book refreshing because it is so honest, and honesty about these events is difficult, not because Rwandans aren't truthful but because we all have to live next to one another, come what may. As some survivors point out, it would help them to release all their pent-up feelings, but it would be hard to continue our daily lives if they did so. So for national survival, they sacrifice, even again. Rwanda is truly an astounding story of survival against all odds: not one of the people I know who was here in the two or three years afterward really believed the country would find any way forward. The fact that it has and has even surpassed many of the conditions of its pre-war status and is looking forward to the future is an incredible testimony to Rwandans themselves. The people in this book are witness to that: this is as true a snapshot of rural Rwanda as can be found in English. Life in the city is a bit more complex than Hatzfield paints it, but he knows this particular community very well.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sooj on September 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
That there is only one other review to date on Amazon indicates a low readership for The Antelope's Strategy. It's true that more pressing current affairs require our attention between Iraq, Afghanistan, the worldwide financial situation...and this doesn't even include the growing drug trade in Mexico nor the uranium enrichment in North Korea. However, the genocide in Rwanda still strikes me as one of the more important historical events in my lifetime as it reveals the continuing need for discourse on how and why ethnicity is manipulated in politics as well as the longterm effects of such politics.

In this accessible book which combines direct oral narrative with the author's literary shaping of events, the story post-genocide is told both by Tutsis and Hutus. In 2003, the mostly Tutsi government freed the Hutu prisoners who admitted their crimes in killing Tutsis. The freed Hutus were taught how to behave towards the survivor Tutsis and allowed to return home, to the silent shock of the survivor Tutsis who in turn were urged by the government to behave judiciously and neighborly towards the freed Hutus, even towards those who took part in killing their families and friends. With only a traditional and almost informal court (the gacaca) in which to air grievances and seek out further truths concerning that summer when a possible 75% of the Tutsi population was decimated, both Tutsis and Hutus face an uneasy coexistence but recognize the compromise as the only way for the nation to move forward.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Maxwell on April 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Surprising, comforting and appalling all at once. More personal thoughts by Hatzfeld than in his other books. It answered so many questions from Hatzfeld's first two books on Rwanda. He puts the killers and survivors side-by-side as they now live in their villages and makes the reader really feel what it must be like to be there.
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The Antelope's Strategy: Living in Rwanda After the Genocide + Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak + Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
Price for all three: $38.10

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