Visions of civil war and genocide in fiction from Rwanda

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Abstract

On October 1, 1990, the Rwandan Patriotic Army invaded Rwanda from Uganda, thereby launching a civil war that was to last until the end of the 1994 genocide. While a number of fictional responses to the one-hundred-day genocide have appeared since 1994, very little fiction has been written in response to the civil war itself. This article discusses two little known novels written by Rwandan authors who engage specifically with the civil war: Aimable Twagilimana's 1996 novel, Manifold Annihilation, and Anicet Karege's Sous le déluge rwandais, published in 2005. While both authors have very different relationships with the events of 1994, they paint a similar picture of Rwanda in the early 1990s, which they both experienced firsthand. Through their fictional representations of Rwanda on the eve of genocide, they challenge the ill-informed, mythologized versions of the history of Rwanda that were so widespread in 1994 and continue to this day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-165
JournalResearch in African Literatures
Volume48
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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