Murambi, The Book of Bones

Murambi, The Book of Bones

Boubacar Boris Diop. Translated by Fiona Mc Laughlin
Distribution: World
Publication date: 3/14/2006
Format: paper 228 pages
5.5 x 8.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21852-0
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In April of 1994, nearly a million Rwandans were killed in what would prove to be one of the swiftest, most terrifying killing sprees of the 20th century. In Murambi, The Book of Bones, Boubacar Boris Diop comes face to face with the chilling horror and overwhelming sadness of the tragedy. Here, the power of Diop’s acclaimed novel is available to English-speaking readers through Fiona Mc Laughlin’s crisp translation and a compelling afterword by Diop. The novel recounts the story of a Rwandan history teacher, Cornelius Uvimana, who was living and working in Djibouti at the time of the massacre. He returns to Rwanda to try to comprehend the death of his family and to write a play about the events that took place there. As the novel unfolds, Cornelius begins to understand that it is only our humanity that will save us, and that as a writer, he must bear witness to the atrocities of the genocide.

Author Bio

Boubacar Boris Diop is a Senegalese novelist and screenwriter. Murambi, The Book of Bones was nominated by a jury to the Zimbabwe International Book Fair’s list of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century.

Fiona Mc Laughlin is Associate Professor of African Languages and Linguistics at the University of Florida, Gainesville.


"This novel is a miracle. Murambi, The Book of Bones verifies my conviction that art alone can handle the consequences of human destruction and translate these consequences into meaning. Boubacar Boris Diop, with a difficult beauty, has managed it. Powerfully." —Toni Morrison

"[This novel] comes closer than have many political scientists or historians to trying to understand why this small country . . . sank in such appalling violence." —

"An important contribution to world literature. . . Fiona Mc Laughlin has made a masterful translation." —
African Studies Review

"A powerful contribution to the literature of the Rwandan genocide." —Kirkus Reviews

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Table of Contents

Foreword: An Urn for the Dead, an Hourglass for the Living by Eileen Julien
Introduction: "To call a monster by its name" by Fiona Mc Laughlin

Part 1. Fear and Anger
Michel Serumundo
Faustin Gasana
Part 2. The Return of Cornelius
Part 3. Genocide
Aloys Ndasingwa
Marina Nkusi
Rosa Karemera
Doctor Joseph Karekezi
Colonel Etienne Perrin
Part 4. Murambi