We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

Front Cover
Macmillan, 1998 - History - 355 pages
681 Reviews
An unforgettable firsthand account of a people's response to genocide and what it tells us about humanity. This remarkable debut book chronicles what has happened in Rwanda and neighboring states since 1994, when the Rwandan government called on everyone in the Hutu majority to murder everyone in the Tutsi minority. Though the killing was low-tech--largely by machete--it was carried out at shocking speed: some 800,000 people were exterminated in a hundred days. A Tutsi pastor, in a letter to his church president, a Hutu, used the chilling phrase that gives Philip Gourevitch his title. With keen dramatic intensity, Gourevitch frames the genesis and horror of Rwanda's "genocidal logic" in the anguish of its aftermath: the mass displacements, the temptations of revenge and the quest for justice, the impossibly crowded prisons and refugee camps. Through intimate portraits of Rwandans in all walks of life, he focuses on the psychological and political challenges of survival and on how the new leaders of postcolonial Africa went to war in the Congo when resurgent genocidal forces threatened to overrun central Africa. Can a country composed largely of perpetrators and victims create a cohesive national society? This moving contribution to the literature of witness tells us much about the struggle everywhere to forge sane, habitable political orders, and about the stubbornness of the human spirit in a world of extremity.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Yes, it was hard to read. - Goodreads
Good journalism, engaging writing. - Goodreads
Maybe I just find his prose terribly dull. - Goodreads
Well researched and thought out. - Goodreads
How wrong I was and how misguided the coverage was. - Goodreads
Easy to read, good flow and a no nonsense approach. - Goodreads

Review: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

User Review  - Chris Nsanzimana - Goodreads

A compelling account of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi. I personally like Philip's storytelling style. Read full review

Review: We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families

User Review  - Carolyn Cotterman - Goodreads

Very educational...wish there was a worthy sequel to cover more recent events in Rwanda and its surrounding area. Reads a bit more like a piece of journalism than like a novel, which made it more educational and less tear-jerking than other books on genocide that I've read. Read full review

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)

Philip Gourevitch is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a contributing editor to the Forward. He has reported from Africa, Asia, and Europe for a number of magazines, including Granta, Harper's, and The New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information