Déogratias, A Tale of Rwanda

Déogratias, A Tale of Rwanda

Book - 2006 | 1st American ed.
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The 2000 winner of the Goscinny Prize for outstanding graphic novel script, this is the harrowing tale of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, as seen through the eyes of a boy named Deogratias. He is an ordinary teenager, in love with a girl named Bénigne, but Deogratias is a Hutu and Bénigne is a Tutsi who dies in the genocide, and Deogratias himself plays a part in her death. As the story circles around but never depicts the terror and brutality of an entire country descending into violence, wewatch Deogratias in his pursuit of Bénigne, and we see his grief and descent into madness following her death, as he comes to believe he is a dog.

Told with great artistry and intelligence, this book offers a window into a dark chapter of recent human history and exposes the West's role in the tragedy. Stassen's interweaving of the aftermath of the genocide and the events leading up to it heightens the impact of the horror, giving powerful expression to the unspeakable, indescribable experience of ordinary Hutus caught up in the violence. Difficult, beautiful, honest, and heartbreaking, this is a major work by a masterful artist.

Publisher: New York : First Second, 2006.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9781596431034
Branch Call Number: STASS
Characteristics: 79 p. : col. ill. ; 22 cm.


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Jun 29, 2016

Small type and glossy pages makes text hard to read. Dark loud colours makes drawings hard to see. Crude storytelling.

Apr 04, 2013

I found the historical background at the beginning more interesting than the actual story.

It suffers from a not-terribly-likeable main character who doesn't inspire sympathy as much as some of the supporting characters (like Apollinaria, Benina, and Venetia), who probably should have been the focus of the story.

The art is downright ugly at times, particularly with the males, who are all drawn hideously.

If you know nothing about the Rwanda genocide, this may be something you want to check out (particularly for the opening text). Just be warned, there is no happy ending in sight.

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