BookBrowse Reviews Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

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Running the Rift

A Novel

by Naomi Benaron

Running the Rift
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2012, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2012, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte

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One boy dreams of being Rwanda's first Olympic medal contender in track amidst Hutu/Tutsi conflict

Rwandans have a favorite saying: Imana yirwa ahandi igataha i Rwanda. "Wherever God spends the day, He comes home to sleep in Rwanda." For much of the early '90s though, as the country was torn apart by tensions and later genocide, this statement would have been hard to believe.

Naomi Benaron's incredible debut novel, Running the Rift, is set during one of the most tumultuous times in Rwanda's recent history. The ever-simmering tensions between the Hutu and the Tutsi exploded in full force in 1994 when President Habyarimana was killed (along with the president of neighboring Burundi) in a suspicious plane crash. Mistrust immediately fell on the RPF, the Rwandan Patriotic Front, mostly Tutsi refugees who had fled to Uganda during earlier clashes. The resulting genocide, which lasted more than 90 days, killed over 800,000 people - mostly Tutsi and moderate Hutus.

The fictional ...

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