Review: The Barefoot Woman – Scholastique Mukasonga

The Barefoot Woman - Scholastique Mukasonga

In the pages of history, genocide often appears to come out of nowhere. It is fixed with a date – in the case of Rwanda, April to July 1994 – as if those responsible for the atrocities awoke one morning and decided to commit mass murder instead of going to work. In Scholastique Mukasonga’s memoir, The Barefoot Woman (archipelago books, translated from French by Jordan Stump), it is evident, however, that the journey was much longer, and touched almost every aspect of daily life.