A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali


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A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche

A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali is a moving, passionate love story set amid the turmoil and terror of Rwanda’s genocide.
All manner of Kigali residents pass their time by the pool of the Mille-Collines hotel: aid workers, Rwandan bourgeoisie, expatriates, UN peacekeepers, prostitutes. Keeping a watchful eye is Bernard Valcourt, a jaded foreign journalist, but his closest attention is devoted to Gentille, a hotel waitress with the slender, elegant build of a Tutsi. As they slip into an intense, improbable affair, the delicately balanced world around them–already devastated by AIDS–erupts in a Hutu-led genocide against the Tutsi people. Valcourt’s efforts to spirit Gentille to safety end in their separation. It will be months before he learns of his lover’s shocking fate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400034345
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/12/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Gil Courtemanche is an author and journalist in international and Third World politics. Among his recent nonfiction works are Québec (1998) and Nouvelles douces colères (1999). He lives in Montreal.

Patricia Claxton is one of Canada’s foremost translators, and the recipient of two Governer General’s Awards for translation. She lives in Montreal.

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Sunday at the Pool in Kigali 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*falls asleep*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
To truly understand a holocaust one would have to have been there. This story told through a fictional(or is he)French Canadian's eyes gives it a real and personal dimension. His love for a local Tutsi woman takes us into the center of the storm. Beautifully written with a touch of French Canadian sarcasm thrown in, it brings to life the terrifying politics of the Rwandan genocide.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I ignored my family and my job for a day or so while reading this book. It really grabs you. My interest in the Rwandan genocide led me to this book, and weeks later I still find myself sitting and thinking of the characters and their fates as though they are real people. In a way, they are. The people in Rwanda, both perpetrators and victims of the killing and even the U.N. and foreign press people who witnessed the genocide are all depicted well in this book. Read it, but don't expect to forget about it anytime soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this book was in French back in 2003. Reading it in English still has a chilling effect on me. I still feel haunted. It is one of the most beautiful and disturbing books I have read. And Courtemanche did a wonderful job bringing the genocide in Rwanda and the atmosphere leading up to it to close to the grasp of the average reader. His characters are real and the setting is real, which makes the story all the more disturbing. However, despite all the horrors, the writer allowed us to see the light and magnificent beauty of Rwanda and its people, and in portraying these, the writer made us see hope which is the prerequisite for healing, recovery and progress for a new Rwanda. This book is a must read if you want to understand what happened in Rwanda and get a clue to the other massacres that happened and/or are still happening in the continent. In the horrible violence that took place in Rwanda, that happened two decades back in Cameroon, Congo and Algeria and that is happening today in Sudan , one can not avoid asking this question: where was and where is the international community ?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once immersed in this book, you really feel that for once you can make sense of the complexities of the genocide in Rwanda. An excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book about a year ago, and it has stayed in my mind ever since. Rarely would I give a more urgent recommendation to read a book. Courtemanche will let the genocide envelop you, allow the stench of rotting flesh to invade your nostrils, then point out that -- amid all the dying -- the business of living is to live and to love. (I keep hearing that a movie is to be made of this book. I enjoyed 'Hotel Rwanda,' but this book's plot could, if filmed correctly, quite possibly be the best movie ever made. Read the book first so you know what you'll be missing in case the filmmakers fail to live up to the text.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a very good book, and as well as it is written (or translated for that matter), there are two issues I have with it. One, is that there are too many characters coming in and out. Yes, there are 4 or 5 main characters, but friends of these characters come in and out, and it's tough to remember every character's story. Secondly; it goes in and out of 1st and 3rd person, so some times you don't know who is talking, but if you pay close attention you can get it. Overall it's still a great read. Go for it. It's certainly worth the 12 bucks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most beautiful and disturbing books I have read this year. The story of love against the backdrop of horrible violence is moving and raises the question of where was the international community during this horrible genocide.