During what has become officially known as the genocide against the Tutsi, as many as one million Rwandan people were brutally massacred between April and July 1994. This book presents a critical study of fictional responses by authors inside and outside Rwanda to the 1994 genocide. Focusing on a large and original corpus of creative writing by African authors, including writers from Rwanda, Rwanda Genocide Stories: Fiction After 1994 examines the positionality of authors and their texts in relation to the genocide. How do issues of ‘ethnicity’, nationality, geographical location and family history affect the ways in which creative writers respond to what happened in 1994? And how do such factors lead to authors and their texts being positioned by others? The book is organized around the principal subject positions created by the genocide, categories that have particular connotations and have become fraught with political tension and ambiguity in the context of post-genocide Rwanda. Through analysis of the figures of tourists, witnesses, survivors, victims and perpetrators, the book identifies the ways in which readers of genocide stories are compelled to reevaluate their knowledge of Rwanda and take an active role in commemorative processes: as self-critical tourists, ethical witnesses, judges or culpable bystanders, we are encouraged to acknowledge and assume our own responsibility for what happened in 1994.
'Rwanda Genocide Stories is an excellent vehicle for bringing a group of largely overlooked writers with varied, complex perspectives on genocide to an English-speaking, academic audience.'
David Whitehouse, Francospheres
'This book provides a most compelling examination of the link between fictional writing and the memories of a tragedy that ‘cannot be encapsulated in a single narrative’ (p. 158).'
Pierre-Philippe Fraiture, French Studies
'Insightful, thoroughly researched, and exceptionally engaging [...] Hitchcott’s Rwanda Genocide Stories offers so much in addition to the excellent literary analysis it presents. The book is replete with rich historical and contextual detail, compellingly argued and strongly interdisciplinary.'
Ayala Maurer-Prager, Bulletin of Francophone Postcolonial Studies
'Nicki Hitchcott’s comprehensive and beautifully structured account of fiction published in the two decades following the genocide […] is the first book to consider the full extent of (largely ignored) Rwandan fictional writing in a sustained manner, alongside more well-known, internationally circulating texts by visitors to Rwanda... The resulting work is exceptional in its range and consistent focus... Throughout Rwanda Genocide Stories Hitchcott’s comparisons offer ample material for insights that will set the agenda for future research... For now, the critical field is significantly richer for [Hitchcott’s] intervention drawing on fiction across English and French.'
Zoe Norridge, Research in African Literatures
'Rwanda Genocide Stories makes a significant contribution to scholarship, understandings of the Genocide against the Tutsi, and to comprehension of the broader phenomena of genocide and ethnic violence. Hitchcott navigates the dark realities of the atrocities and their aftermath with profound perceptiveness, illuminating the genocide’s complex legacy with the consideration it deserves.'
Katherine Petty, The Wiener Holocaust Library Blog