Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

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...the genocide of the 1990s was so terrible it seems scarcely possible to contain it within the pages of a novel.


Running the Rift follows the progress of Jean Patrick Nkuba from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life. A naturally gifted athlete, he sprints over the thousand hills of Rwanda and dreams of becoming his country’s first Olympic medal winner in track. But Jean Patrick is a Tutsi in a world that has become increasingly restrictive and violent for his people. As tensions mount between the Hutu and Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream that running might deliver him, and his people, from the brutality around them.

Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Naomi Benaron has written a stunning and gorgeous novel that—through the eyes of one unforgettable boy— explores a country’s unraveling, its tentative new beginning, and the love that binds its people together.

About Naomi Benaron

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Naomi Benaron earned an MFA from Antioch University and an MS in earth sciences from Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She teaches at Pima Community College and online through the Afghan Women's Writing Project. An advocate for African refugees in her community, she has worked extensively with genocide survivor groups in Rwanda. She has won the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction and the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. She is also an Ironman triathlete.
Published October 16, 2012 by Algonquin Books. 378 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Reviewed by Jane Housham on Jun 26 2012

...the genocide of the 1990s was so terrible it seems scarcely possible to contain it within the pages of a novel.

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