Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Melanie Mauthner / ISBN 9780914671039 / 240 pages, small paperback with flaps from Archipelago
Shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award
"Eerily laconic, both comedy and tragedy hauntingly understated..."--Sarah Moss, The Guardian
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 high 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 doors 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.