Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

Running the Rift

Naomi Benaron

Have you seen a news item about an atrocity abroad, thought 'dreadful' then dismissed it? If like me you have, this story will take you to the heart of the Rwandan genocide and call you to account. Seen through the eyes of a young athlete, it spares the reader nothing of its violence and terror. Despite my horror I could not put the book down. The characters are so vivid I had to know their fates, most sad, but there is fragile hope in the end.

Extract

Hand over hand he hoisted himself into a densely branched tree. The rough bark pierced his wounded palm. Above him was an abandoned monkey's nest, and he curled inside its stink. Held in the cradle of inter-woven branches, he watched in silence. The Tutsi ran before their pursuers, mute and ragged, the young and the old dragged by the hand or abandoned to fate. Women carried babies in their arms, some clearly dead. Torchlight turned night into an unnatural day.

Parallels
  • Murambi: the Book of Bones by Boubacar Boris Diop
  • Speak Rwanda by Julian R Pierce
  • Hotel Rwanda - the film

Books with similar mood

Shelter

Jung Yun

The Other Child

Charlotte Link

The Betrayal

Helen Dunmore

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

A Woman is No Man

Etaf Rum

Anatomy of a Soldier

Harry Parker

The Daylight Gate

Jeanette Winterson

Far North

Marcel Theroux

Burning Bright

Ron Rash

Incendiary

Chris Cleave

The Dogs of Riga

Henning Mankell

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

Death Is Hard Work

Khaled Khalifa

Call It Dog

Marli Roode

Camera

Eva-Marie Liffner

Ladysmith

Giles Foden

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

Then She Was Born

Cristiano Gentili

The President's Gardens

Muhsin Al-Ramli

Beside Myself

Ann Morgan

In Praise of Hatred

Khaled Khalifa

The Blindman's Garden

Nadeem Aslam

Boy A

Jonathan Trigell

Almost Blue

Carlo Lucarelli

Mercy Among the Children

David Adams Richards

Unreal City

Tony Hanania

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Star of the North

D B John

The Warsaw Anagrams

Richard Zimler

The People's Act of Love

James Meek

The Lamplighter

Anthony O'Neill

Other People's Fathers

Romana Petri

The Crusader

Michael Eisner

Small Country

Gaël Faye

All Our Names

Dinaw Mengestu

Yiza

Michael Köhlmeier

Jakob's Colours

Lindsay Hawdon

The Fishermen

Chigozie Obioma

The Pearl that Broke its Shell

Nadia Hashimi

The Kills

Richard House

The Distance

Helen Giltrow

Cook

Wayne Macauley

Partitions

Amit Majmudar

The Auschwitz Violin

Maria Angels Anglada

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Maaza Mengiste

Under Fishbone Clouds

Sam Meekings

The Little Girl and the Cigarette

Benoit Duteurtre

Hellfire

Mia Gallagher