Philip Gourevitch

You Hide That You Hate Me and I Hide That I Know

You Hide That You Hate Me and I Hide That I Know


Philip Gourevitch's unforgettable modern classic We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families opened our eyes to the 1994 genocide of Rwanda's Tutsi minority: close to a million people murdered by their neighbours in one hundred days. Now Gourevitch brings us a staggeringly vivid and intimate exploration of how killers and survivors live together again in the same communities, grappling with seemingly impossible burdens of memory and forgetting, denial and confession, vengefulness and forgiveness.

A fiercely beautiful literary reckoning, You Hide That You Hate Me and I Hide That I Know is the culmination of twenty-five years of reporting on the aftermath of the slaughter. The book takes its title from a stark Rwandan adage that speaks to the uneasy trade-offs that reconciliation after near-annihilation demands. Since the genocide, Rwanda has engaged in the most ambitious and sweeping process of accountability ever undertaken by any society. "Truth Heals" was the slogan. But truth also wounds. And truth is always contested.

As Gourevitch returns repeatedly over the decades to the same families in one small hillside village, their accounts of killing and surviving, and of the life after, inform and enlarge one another, becoming ever more complex and more charged with significance for us all. These stories are at once as essential and as extreme as classical myths, illuminating the ways that we seek, individually and collectively, to negotiate our irreparable pasts in pursuit of a more habitable future. This deeply moving book continuously invites us - as only great writing can - to think, and to think again.