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The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil

The Girl Who Smiled Beads

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
Apr 24, 2018 | 288 Pages
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    Apr 24, 2018 | 288 Pages

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    Apr 24, 2018 | 288 Pages

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    Apr 24, 2018 | 540 Minutes

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    Apr 24, 2018 | 540 Minutes

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“Extraordinary and heart-rending. Wamariya is as fiercely talented as she is courageous.”
—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

“In the aftermath of the Holocaust, witnesses and survivors shared reflections that changed our moral understanding of good and evil and all that lies between. In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine Wamariya has written a defining, luminescent memoir that shines a sharp light on the dark forces that roil our age. If you read this book—and once you read the first page, you will not put it down—you will never think about political violence, displacement, or the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship the same way again. Wamariya tells the story of her discombobulating resettlement in the United States as a teenager, following her harrowing experiences in the Rwandan genocide and as a refugee roaming the African continent in search of a home. Wamariya is unsparing in her criticisms of Western indifference and moral presumptuousness, and she subjects her own judgments and values to the same withering scrutiny, revealing a young woman that figures out how to survive but struggles to learn how to live. 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”: America and the Age of Genocide; Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

“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.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“At once heart-breaking and hopeful, [Wamariya’s] story is about power and helplessness, loneliness and identity, and the strange juxtaposition of poverty and privilege…. This beautifully written and touching account goes beyond the horror of war to recall the lived experience of a child trying to make sense of violence and strife. Intimate and lyrical, the narrative flows from Wamariya’s early experience to her life in the United States with equal grace. A must-read.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“In this eloquent and engaging memoir, Clemantine Wamariya recalls a childhood spent as a refugee on the run from war, violence, and terror, and a womanhood shaped by those experiences. Affecting and utterly eye-opening, The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a powerful reminder of just how strong and indomitable the human spirit can be.”

“Lyrical and hauntingly beautiful. The Girl Who Smiled Beads will inspire you.”
Chanrithy Him, author of When Broken Glass Floats

“A powerful record of the refugee experience… [with] moments of potent self-reckoning.”
Kirkus Reviews

“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.”

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