So, I’ve been toying with this idea for a while…
It started a few months ago when I read a very insightful excerpt of a book, a memoir of some sorts, written by a Burundian, recounting what he saw and heard during the days preceding and following a tragic date in Burundi’s history: the 29th April 1972. I was like, wow! How is this not public information? As in, this book exists and people (more like, I) don’t know about it? We should share this! At the same time, I was reading the biography of a Burundian doctor who was born in Burundi in the 70s. I had come across many passages recounting important political and social events in Burundi (but from the point of view of the un-involved young boy in rural Burundi), which I thought many should read to understand some of our past better… Because we always complain that our history is blurred, that there aren’t any writings to tell us what really happened at this or that point in time. But there are writings, I’ve come to learn! They’re just not known, or (most likely), many of us are just too lazy to look for them…
That’s when I thought about reading all the Burundian books I can find, and share some excerpts to encourage you guys to find and read them too. However, given that I’m a rather slow reader, I realised it would take me a rather long time to read enough books to give you a quality “service”; and given how I quickly forget about things I do not implement immediately, I knew my idea would probably never happen, if I decided to implement it alone. Therefore, I reached out to some people whom I knew were book worms to help me with this new quest. But the way I had conceived the idea initially freaked most of them out: I had thought about limiting ourselves to books/extracts that strictly recount political events or events linked to politics. (This is what happens when you allow politics to consume your mind).
While I was still figuring out how to do what I wanted to do, and as I read more books, (and as I recovered from my overdose of politics), I remembered that there is always something to learn from all books, even fictional ones (I have a high preference for non-fictional). Besides, my end goal is actually to get people to read Burundian literature and/or literature on Burundi, so we shouldn’t limit ourselves or discriminate, right? And then the Rwa-250 snapchat account launched the “literature month”, kind of confirming (like a “message from above” type of thing, lol) that I needed to do what I had intended to do.
So, here we go! This is the official announcement of a new section that’s coming to this blog simply called: “Burundi Books”. The concept is very straightforward: share an excerpt (500-1200 words) of a book about Burundi/Umurundi(kazi), and/or written by a Burundian, be it fictional, a memoir, or a recollection of real events; then tell us where we can get it, if possible. No need to write a review: just share an (interesting) excerpt of the book, and indications of where it can be found. You’ll get an example of the format tomorrow, at this hour, when we post the first excerpt. The process to submit your text hasn’t changed: Click on “Share your Story!” in the top menu and follow the guideline, or e-mail it to us at thisburundianlife(at)gmail(dot)com. Simple, right?
This will be all for today!
Thank you for making this blog what it is! (I think it’s awesome)
Founder, Editor and Contributour at This Burundian Life
(Photo of the “Librairie Saint Paul” in Bujumbura by ahyi-hoesle.blogspot.com)