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A Mulher de Pés Descalços (Em Portugues do…
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A Mulher de Pés Descalços (Em Portugues do Brasil)

por Scholastique Mukasonga (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
878250,905 (4.14)11
"A moving, unforgettable tribute to a Tutsi woman who did everything to protect her children from the Rwandan genocide, by the daughter who refuses to let her family's story be forgotten. The story of the author's mother, a fierce, loving woman who for years protected her family from the violence encroaching upon them in pre-genocide Rwanda. Recording her memories of their life together in spare, wrenching prose, Mukasonga preserves her mother's voice in a haunting work of art."--Provided by publisher.… (mais)
Membro:Adriana_Scarpin
Título:A Mulher de Pés Descalços (Em Portugues do Brasil)
Autores:Scholastique Mukasonga (Autor)
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Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:to-read, ruandense, africana, owned, reading-women

Informação Sobre a Obra

The Barefoot Woman por Scholastique Mukasonga (Author)

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Mukasonga's work always flirts with anthropological white-guilt interest stuff, and this time she seems to have gone all in on that. If you're yearning for a more authentic, more true human experience, you will probably find everything here deeply meaningful. If you're looking for what the publicity promises (i.e., depiction of an individual), you're likely to be disappointed: Mukasonga's mother certainly seems like a character, but not much else. The restraint shown in dealing with horror is admirable, and so is Stump's translation. But I fear the returns on Mukasonga's books are diminishing. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
In this 2019 National Book Award Finalist for translated literature, Mukasonga conjures her mother, her family, and her neighbors as they reshape traditions to fit their lives as refugees in the mounting violence that will lead to the Rwandan genocide. Mukasonga leaves the tragedy in the background, giving center stage instead to the people and their daily lives.

Reading this, I'm struck once again by how colonization shapes a people, how outsiders applying foreign values of good and bad, moral and immoral, civilized and savage influence how a people sees itself and derails social systems in place for generations. Regardless of one's judgment of those social systems and how they serve the individuals within the society, colonization is a profoundly destabilizing influence. Writing this, I'm struck by just how obvious that statement is, but still it's taken the better part of four decades to see it.

This book isn't an overtly political work, but these and other messages come through perhaps even more poignantly than they would if addressed directly. It's powerful, authentic, and very much worth the read. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Jun 28, 2020 |
When I hear Rwanda and Tutsi, my thoughts go to the 1990s - the Civil war and then the genocide of 1994. Somewhere at the back of my mind I had always known that it did not start in the 90s and there were deeper problems somewhere there but I'd be the first to admit that I shied from looking up the details - the story next door to me in Yugoslavia was stomach-turning enough to go and look for another one. And then this book just showed up.

Scholastique Mukasonga was born in 1956 in Rwanda to Tutsi parents. Before she understands enough to really remember life before the change, her family is exiled to another part of the country, losing their way of life and everything they owned. So her connection to the traditions and the past becomes her mother, Stefania. And this slim book is a tribute to the mother - but in a way also a tribute to the Rwanda that never existed for her and to all the mothers.

Writing from the safety of France in 2008 (well - relative safety anyway), long after everyone she is writing is dead, Scholastique Mukasonga tells the story of a displaced culture, of people turned into refugees in their own country. She is not trying to generalize and explain how everyone lived - she recounts her own memories from her family and neighbors. And as with every life, these memories are full of sorrow and laughter, disappointment and hope. Except that she never lets the hope stand - anytime when any hope even tries to glimmer through, she reminds us that noone survives, that all those people got slaughtered in their own homes before they could realize their dreams. She does not need to be explicit or repeat the banal words of death - a small sentence at the end of a chapter is enough to remind you that this world does not exist anymore and will never exist anymore.

I often find memoirs about one's childhood to be too infused with the knowledge of what is coming and where the story leads. And this should have felt the same way - but it does not. It is not the voice of the growing girl but it is not the analytical voice of the mature immigrant either - it manages to stay somewhere in the middle.

This is the first book I read by Mukasonga and it definitely will not be the last - her writing style works in ways I prefer not to explore. ( )
1 vote AnnieMod | Jun 15, 2020 |
In this memoir Mukasonga reminisces about her life as a child as a Tutsi in Rwanda. Her family had been exiled to the Bugasera district in the 1960s, and most of this book revolves around how hard her mother worked to keep their traditions alive against all odds. Without a proper courtyard for women to convene in, without the cows required for proper ceremonies, without being able to let girls run errands on their own--her mother Stefania does her best to create new spaces, to work around the old traditions, to make sure her children know their roots. Many of their neighbors have the same traditions, but others are from others areas and do not. They all do their best in this new place, struggling to keep their children safe.

Mukasonga was able to flee to Burundi and eventually settled in France. It was there she learned her mother and much of her family were killed in the 1994 genocide.

This book is quite short and spare, which makes it stronger. Mukasonga somehow makes this topic so eloquent--she knows how their lives should have been, and knows her family's traditions. But she also recognizes how much of her knowledge is simply due to her mother's sheltering her children, and working tirelessly to follow the ways of their culture, to educate her children, to keep them steeped in traditional stories, food, drink, and ceremony--despite all obstacles. ( )
  Dreesie | Dec 4, 2019 |
Scholastique Mukasonga’s mother used to tell her daughters that it was their duty to cover her when she died. By shrouding her body in a pagne, the colourful wrapper worn by both women and men, they could preserve decency and allow her soul to safely move on to the next stage of its journey. But Mukasonga was living far away in France when her mother was horrifically murdered, alongside her sisters, brothers, neighbours and friends, in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Unable to fulfil her mother’s wish, Mukasonga instead pays tribute to her with this extraordinary memoir. It is a celebration of one remarkable woman, but also of all the women whom Mukasonga knew as a girl: the energetic, creative, passionate, devout neighbours who helped an exiled community to maintain its dignity in the face of racial hatred, and who fought to give their children as normal a life as possible in a world where nothing was normal any more. Blessed with a lyrical and eminently readable translation by Jordan Stump, this little slice of vanished Rwandan life might just end up being one of my books of the year...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2019/08/02/the-barefoot-woman-scholastique-mukasonga/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Aug 5, 2019 |
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Souvent ma mère s'arrêtait au milieu d'une de ces innombrables tâches qui s'enchaînaient tout au long de la journée d'une femme (balayer la cour, écosser, trier les haricots, sarcler le sorgho, retourner la terre, déterrer les patates douces, éplucher les bananes avant la cuisson...) et elle nous appelait, nous, les trois cadettes qui étions encore à la maison, non pas par les noms qu'on nous avait attribués au baptême, Jeanne, Julienne, Scholastique, mais de nos noms véritables, ceux qu'à la naissance nous avaient donnés notre père et dont la signification, toujours sujette à interprétations, paraissait dessiner notre avenir : "Umubyeyi, Uwamubyirura, Mukasonga !".
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Mama, I wasn't there to cover your body, and all I have left is words--words in a language you didn't understand--to do as you asked. And I'm all alone with my feeble words, and on the pages of my notebook, over and over, my sentences weave a shroud for your missing body.
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"A moving, unforgettable tribute to a Tutsi woman who did everything to protect her children from the Rwandan genocide, by the daughter who refuses to let her family's story be forgotten. The story of the author's mother, a fierce, loving woman who for years protected her family from the violence encroaching upon them in pre-genocide Rwanda. Recording her memories of their life together in spare, wrenching prose, Mukasonga preserves her mother's voice in a haunting work of art."--Provided by publisher.

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