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Showing posts from August, 2010

A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche

Cover image © Vintage. I've travelled to Rwanda twice in the past two years and the events of April 1994 are obviously inescapable. People who I now count as my friends survived the Genocide and so I have become not just well-informed about the Genocide, but also quite protective over how the story is treated by the West. The Genocide started two days after my 10th birthday, although, being born and raised in the UK, I didn't know anything about it at the time except a few new reports showing long lines of people leaving a city. It was with some scepticism that I approached A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali (2003), especially having read an extract from the first chapter that made excessive references to ‘asses’. My initial worry was that this would be another westernised narrative that unduly sexualised the suffering of people of colour. I put this to one side and tried to read on. It is not long into the novel that you realise that Gil Courtemanche is in fact

The Gower in May

A very windy day on the Gower, in Wales, in May. I had been there for a camping trip. It was very cold as you may expect and my ears were freezing after a coastal walk to the pub in Rhossili. After a meal there the drinking continued into the night before a drunken stumble home.