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The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After (2018)

av Clemantine Wamariya

Andra författare: Elizabeth Weil

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4043047,027 (4.03)17
"Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. It was 1994, and in 100 days more than 800,000 people would be murdered in Rwanda and millions more displaced. Clemantine and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, ran and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries searching for safety. They did not know whether their parents were alive. At age twelve, Clemantine and Claire were granted asylum in the United States. Raw, urgent, yet disarmingly beautiful, this book captures the true costs and aftershocks of war: what is forever lost, what can be repaired, the fragility and importance of memory. A riveting story of dislocation, survival."--… (mer)
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Ms. Wamariya writes many sections that could be illuminating for many world leaders. One that I am especially thinking of, whom I am sure now, never learned to share.
"The only road to equality - a sense of common humanity; peace -- is sharing my mother's orange. When we share you are not using your privilege to get me to line up behind you. When we share, you are not insisting on being my saviour." To combat all of our ills, from climate change to homelessness, we are all going to have to learn how to share. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
It feels disrespectful to "really like" a book that outlines a refugee's experience of wandering through seven different countries and struggling to fit in, find herself, to relate with her family. There's no happy ending, no full closure or moral here. It's a slightly detached but real account of the serious struggles a child has and always will have from her experiences of growing up with nothing, not even love or safety.
What I appreciate about the book is that it helped me see a glimpse of what it could be like to be a refugee. Obviously this is one story, told as an adult thinking back to a childhood, and told by someone who eventually "escaped" that world (though it never leaves her) and finds American success. Her pain is real, her relationships are all very hard. She does not know how to handle the brokenness. And who does? She does conclude with realizing it is essential to turn her experience into a narrative for herself. We need to see our lives as a story.
I appreciate the peek into a life that is not my own, an experience I cannot relate to. It leaves me feeling helpless, because I can do nothing to make any of it better. And if I don't recognize that I can't take Clemantine's story and apply it to other refugees, then I've not understood the book either. For example, Claire (her older sister and the only one who went through a similar experience , at least superficially) does not have the same story, the same way of dealing or living. Her mother has a totally different approach again. No one will deal with it the same way. We want simple answers and explanations, to draw lines from A to B. This book tells us that is not possible.
Not a simple read, (not graphic), not an easy situation to digest or accept. But a part of our world. ( )
  LDVoorberg | Nov 22, 2020 |
The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a powerful recounting of Clementine Wamariya's experiences as a refugee who together with her sister, Claire, fled the genocide in their native Rwanda in 1994. Interspersed with memories of her time in a series of refugee camps in various countries across southern Africa is a recounting of Wamariya's experiences after she, Claire, and Claire's young children were granted asylum in the United States in 2000.

Wamariya is fiercely resistant to any facile framing of her story. She doesn't want to be uplifting or inspirational; she doesn't want to be pitied or to perform the role of "grateful refugee." Instead, with determined honesty she documents how both her time in the camps and her time being raised by a white Evangelical family in the middle-class Chicago suburbs gave her different kinds of trauma and alienation to wrestle with. A vivid exploration of the human cost of war. ( )
  siriaeve | Oct 3, 2020 |
The audio is absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended. ( )
  mmsmcetc | Sep 17, 2020 |
Superb. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
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Clemantine Wamariyaprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Weil, Elizabethmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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"What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say?"--Audre Lorde, 'Sister Outsider'
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For Claire and for Mukamana, who taught me how to create and live in my own fairy tale.
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When I was a regular child, I lived in Kigali, Rwanda, and I was a precocious snoop.
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"Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. It was 1994, and in 100 days more than 800,000 people would be murdered in Rwanda and millions more displaced. Clemantine and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, ran and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries searching for safety. They did not know whether their parents were alive. At age twelve, Clemantine and Claire were granted asylum in the United States. Raw, urgent, yet disarmingly beautiful, this book captures the true costs and aftershocks of war: what is forever lost, what can be repaired, the fragility and importance of memory. A riveting story of dislocation, survival."--

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