NEW PUBLICATION: From Surviving to Living: Voice, Trauma and Witness in Rwandan Women's Writing, by Catherine Gilbert

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From Surviving to Living: Voice, Trauma and Witness in Rwandan Women's Writing


Catherine Gilbert


Montpellier: Presses Universitaires de la Méditerranée, 2018, 296 p.

ISBN 978-2-36781-268-7



During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, acts of extreme violence were committed against women. This book presents a critical study of Rwandan women’s published testimonies, seeking to understand how Rwandan women genocide survivors respond to and communicate such experiences. Drawing on trauma theory, Holocaust studies and critical approaches to testimony, From Surviving to Living examines the ways in which the genocide is remembered in both individual and collective memory and the challenges Rwandan women face in the ongoing process of surviving trauma. Through close analysis of women’s testimonies written predominantly in French, and a smaller number in English, this book underlines the necessity of developing new ways of listening to the diversity of Rwandan women’s voices, in order not only to gain greater insight into how traumatised individuals remember, but also to hear the challenge they pose to conventional Western modes of responding to trauma.



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About the author:

Dr Catherine Gilbert is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She researches and teaches postcolonial African literatures and cultures, with a particular focus on cultural memory, commemoration and reconciliation.

As far as I can tell, this book is not available in English--is that correct? Thank you.

Hank Greenspan

Dear Hank,

Yes, the book is written in English. It primarily analyses French-language texts, but all quotations are translated into English. I hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Catherine Gilbert
University of Oxford