In 1994, Rwandan native Ilibagiza was 22 years old and home from college to spend Easter with her devout Catholic family, when the death of Rwanda's Hutu president sparked a three-month slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis in the country. She survived by hiding in a Hutu pastor's tiny bathroom with seven other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days.
This searing firsthand account of Ilibagiza's experience cuts two ways: her description of the evil that was perpetrated, including the brutal murders of her family members, is soul-numbingly devastating, yet the story of her unquenchable faith and connection to God throughout the ordeal uplifts and inspires. Her account of the miracles that protected her is simple and vivid. Her Catholic faith shines through, but the book will speak on a deep level to any person of faith. Ilibagiza's remarkable path to forgiving the perpetrators and releasing her anger is a beacon to others who have suffered injustice. She brings the battlefield between good and evil out of the genocide around her and into her own heart, mind and soul.
This book is a precious addition to the literature that tries to make sense of humankind's seemingly bottomless depravity and counterbalancing hope in an all-powerful, loving God. (Mar.)
About the Author
Immaculée Ilibagiza is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of nearly one million Tutsis. Men, women and children, including her entire family except for one of her brothers, were massacred at the hands of Hutu marauders. Immaculée found shelter at a pastor's home, where she and seven other women hid from the deadly rebel mob in a 3-by-4-foot bathroom for 91 days.
During those 91 days of unimaginable suffering, Immaculée found her faith, taught herself English, and most incredibly, committed herself to a life of peace, hope and forgiveness, even for those who had murdered her family.
After the Genocide finally ended, Immaculée found work at the United Nations, emigrating from Rwanda to the United States in 1998. She has gone on the receive five honorary doctoral degrees, write seven books about her faith and her life journey, and is the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.
Immaculée's first book, Left to Tell; Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust (Hay House) was released in March of 2006.
Left to Tell quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. To date, it has been translated into seventeen languages and has sold nearly two million copies. Immaculée's story has also been made into a documentary entitled The Diary of Immaculée.
Left to Tell has received a Christopher Award "affirming the highest values of human spirit," and was chosen as Outreach Magazine's selection for "Best Outreach Testimony/Biography Resource of 2007." Left to Tell has been adopted into the curriculum of dozens of high schools and universities, including Villanova University, which selected it for their "One Book Program," making Left to Tell mandatory reading for its 6,000 students.
Immaculée has written six additional books in recent years - Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide, Our Lady of Kibeho, If Only We Had Listened, Visit from Heaven, and The Boy Who Met Jesus, and The Rosary: The Prayer that Saved my Life.
She has appeared on 60 Minutes, The CBS Early Show, CNN, EWTN, CBS Evening News, The Aljazeera Network and in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, and many other domestic and international media outlets. She was recently featured in Michael Collopy's Architects of Peace project, which has honored legendary people like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama.
Today, Immaculée is regarded as one of world's leading speakers on faith, hope and forgiveness. She has shared this universal message with world leaders, school children, multinational corporations, churches, and at events and conferences around the world, including a recent presentation to over 200,000 people in Sao Paulo, Brazil.