Length: 03hrs 24mins 7 episodesCompleted
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The stories in Igifu summon phantom memories of Rwanda and radiate with the fierce ache of a survivor.Scholastique Mukasonga’s five autobiographical stories rend a glorious Rwanda from the obliterating force of recent history, conjuring the noble cows of her home or the dew-swollen grass they graze on.In the title story, five-year-old Colomba tells of a merciless overlord, hunger or “igifu,” gnawing away at her belly. She searches for sap at the bud of a flower, scraps of sweet potato at the foot of her parent’s bed, or a few grains of sorghum in the floor sweepings. Igifu becomes a dizzying hole in her stomach, a plunging abyss into which she falls. In a desperate act of preservation, Colomba’s mother gathers enough sorghum to whip up a nourishing porridge, bringing Colomba back to life. This elixir courses through each story, a balm to soothe the pains of those so ferociously fighting for survival.The writing eclipses the great gaps of time and memory; in one scene she is a child sitting squat with a jug of sweet, frothy milk, and in another she is an exiled teacher, writing down lists of her dead. As in all her work, Mukasonga sits up with them, her witty and beaming beloved.


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