Strength in What Remains

By Tracy Kidder
(Random House, Hardcover, 9781400066216, 304pp.)

Publication Date: August 25, 2009

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the September 2009 Indie Next List
“Tracy Kidder shines a penetrating, compassionate light on Deo, a Burundian, whose extraordinary resume includes cow herder, medical student, target in the genocidal horror of the mid-1990s, refugee, homeless Manhattan grocery deliverer, Columbia University student, medical student again, and philanthropist. Kidder's portraits of Deo and the amazing people who helped him are appalling, enlightening, and inspiring.”
-- Banna Rubinow, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Winter 2011 Reading Group List
“Thank you Tracy Kidder for writing this book. It's an incredible tale of Deo who survived both the Burundi and Rwandan massacres, and then overcame all odds to ultimately attend medical school at Dartmouth. Deo eventually meets Paul Farmer -- the subject of Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains -- who supports his dream of building a medical clinic back in Burundi. This wonderfully written book really puts our lives into perspective!”
-- Mary Cowen, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL


Description

Tracy Kidder, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of the bestsellers The Soul of a New Machine, House, and the enduring classic Mountains Beyond Mountains, has been described by the Baltimore Sun as the “master of the non-fiction narrative.” In this new book, Kidder gives us the superb story of a hero for our time. Strength in What Remains is a wonderfully written, inspiring account of one man’s remarkable American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him–a brilliant testament to the power of will and of second chances.

Deo arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, plagued by horrific dreams, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life in search of meaning and forgiveness.

An extraordinary writer, Tracy Kidder once again shows us what it means to be fully human by telling a story about the heroism inherent in ordinary people, a story about a life based on hope.




About the Author

Tracy Kidder graduated from Harvard and studied at the University of Iowa. He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes. The author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, My Detachment, Home Town, Old Friends, Among Schoolchildren, House, and The Soul of a New Machine, Kidder lives in Massachusetts and Maine.




NPR
Saturday, Aug 29, 2009

Author Tracy Kidder recounts the story of a refugee from the war-torn African country of Burundi in the new book Strength in What Remains. When Deogratias "Deo" Niyizonkiza arrived in New York City in 1993, he had little beyond the clothes on his back. More at NPR.org

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