We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families
|Cover artist||Anne Fink|
|Publisher||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-312-24335-9 (Picador USA)|
|LC Class||DT450.435 .G68 2004|
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda is a 1998 non-fiction book by The New Yorker writer Philip Gourevitch about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus were killed.
The book describes Gourevitch's travels in Rwanda after the Rwandan Genocide, in which he interviews survivors and gathers information. Gourevitch retells survivors' stories, and reflects on the meaning of the genocide.
The title comes from an April 15, 1994, letter written to Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church's operations in western Rwanda, by several Adventist pastors who had taken refuge with other Tutsis in an Adventist hospital in the locality of Mugonero in Kibuye prefecture. Gourevitch accused Ntakirutimana of aiding the killings that happened in the complex the next day. Ntakirutimana was eventually convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The book not only explains the genocide's peak in 1994, but the history of Rwanda leading up to the major events.
Reception and criticism
This book won numerous awards, including the 1998 National Book Critics Circle award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the 1999 Guardian First Book Award and the George K. Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.
Africanist René Lemarchand criticizes the book:
What is missing from Gourevitch's account is the how and why of the killings. It is one thing to describe the horror, another to explain the motivations that occasioned the carnage. ... The absence of attention to the history of the country creates a portrait of a genocide that is insensitive to the complexity of the circumstances. In essence, Gourevitch's story reduces the butchery to the tale of bad guys and good guys, innocent victims and avatars of hate. His frame of reference is the Holocaust.
The book was featured as one of the first Brotherhood 2.0 book club books.
- BBC report of trial of Ntakirutimana
- Excerpt from Salon.com
- Booknotes interview with Gourevitch on We Wish to Inform You, November 22, 1998
- Frontline interview
- Biography of Philip Gourevitch
- Hotel Ruanda (2004) - Movie about the same story