The girl who smiled beads a story of war and what comes after

by Wamariya, Clemantine,

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Summary
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not--could not--live in that tale."

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety--perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of "victim" and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Wamariya was only six years old in 1994, when massacres obliterated her home life in Rwanda. With her older sister, Claire, Wamariya escaped and became a perpetual refugee. The sisters spent the next six years moving around Africa, Claire always making sure that they never got too comfortable in their transient circumstances. After living in seven different countries, the girls were granted asylum to the U.S. When they arrived in Chicago, they had no idea whether their parents were alive or slaughtered. Eventually, they adjusted to their American lives; Wamariya excelled in school, and Claire reared her small children. In 2006, the sisters were featured on the Oprah show, wherein their parents were brought onstage as a Winfrey-style surprise. The book, coauthored with journalist Weil, demystifies life during and after the Rwandan Civil War and explores the difficult reality of such an epic familial reunion. In her prose as in her life, Wamariya is brave, intelligent, and generous. Sliding easily between past and present, this memoir is a soulful, searing story about how families survive.--Eathorne, Courtney Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Wamariya, a human rights advocate, and Weil, a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine, tell the powerful story of Wamariya's experience fleeing Rwanda after the genocide against the Tutsi ethnic group began in 1994. While visiting her grandmother at age six, Wamariya and her older sister, Claire, were told to sneak out of the house after they heard a knock on the front door. For the next six years Wamariya and Claire crossed through at least seven countries, separated from their parents and living in refugee camps; when Wamariya was 12, they were granted asylum in the U.S. and landed in a safe home in Chicago. Wamariya was an ambitious student and even became interested in cheerleading. After graduating high school, she attended Yale, where she came to terms with the horrors she endured and read the works of Audre Lorde and W.G. Sebald (who taught her that "we live in all times and places at once"). At last, the sisters were reunited with their parents in 2006. This book is not a conventional story about war and its aftermath; it's a powerful coming-of-age story in which a girl explores her identity in the wake of a brutal war that destroyed her family and home. Wamariya is an exceptional narrator and her story is unforgettable. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Wamariya, Clemantine.
Refugees -- Biography.
Refugees -- Biography
Rwanda -- History -- Civil War, 1994 -- Refugees.
Electronic books.
Autobiographies.
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :Crown/Archetype2018.
Edition First edition.
Contributors Weil, Elizabeth, 1969- author.
OverDrive, Inc.
Audience HL800L
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9780451495341
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