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The Girl Who Smiled Beads

A Story of War and What Comes After

Clemantine Wamariya Elizabeth Weil



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Windmill Books
05 February 2019
"Sharp, moving memoir... Wamariya tells her own story with feeling, in vivid prose. She has remade herself, as she explains was necessary to do, on her own terms." - New York Times

A riveting tale of dislocation, survival and the power of stories to break or save us.

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbours began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds that her brother said were thunder.

In 1994, she and her 15-year-old sister Clare fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years wandering 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 12, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States, where she embarked on another journey, 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 100 years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of 'victim' and recognise 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.
By:   Clemantine Wamariya, Elizabeth Weil
Imprint:   Windmill Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   202g
ISBN:   9781786090508
ISBN 10:   1786090503
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   05 February 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

Extraordinary * The Guardian * Sharp, moving memoir . . . Wamariya tells her own story with feeling, in vivid prose. She has remade herself, as she explains was necessary to do, on her own terms * New York Times * Her introspection, honesty and humanity in sharing her story and exploring these questions are thoughtful and moving to read * Culture Fly * A riveting story and one that, somehow, gives hope too * Stylist, Spring Picks * Clemantine Wamariya has written a defining, luminescent memoir that shines a sharp light on the dark forces that roil our age . . . Her gripping and brutally honest reflections inspire us to count our blessings and summon us to follow her fierce and unrelenting example to try to help build the world we wish to see -- Samantha Power, author of A Problem from Hell

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