Philip Gourevitch / Shouldn't Massacring Your Neighbors be Unforgivable?

Tue February 23rd 2016, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Event Sponsor
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, WSD Handa Center for Human Rights & Int'l Justice
Stanford Law School, room 190
Free and open to the public.

In the two decades since genocide decimated Rwanda, that country has been engaged in the most ambitious and intensive process of reckoning and accountability ever undertaken by any society. After a million murders in a hundred days, justice was impossible; instead, Rwanda’s community courts encouraged confession and forgiveness. “Truth heals,” was the slogan. But the truth is also a wound. Philip Gourevitch, author of the classic account of the genocide, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families (1998), now reports on Rwanda’s politics of reconciliation and its discontents, investigating how survivors and killers have to live together again as neighbors. The author’s findings challenge the certainties of Western human rights orthodoxy. His astonishing stories of reckoning have vital moral and political significance for us all.

Philip Gourevitch is a long-time staff writer for The New Yorker, the former editor of The Paris Review, and the author of three books: The Ballad Of Abu Ghraib / Standard Operating Procedure (2008), A Cold Case (2001), and We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda (1998), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the George K. Polk Book Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction, the New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Award, and the Guardian First Book Award. The book was also included in the Guardian’s list ofthe hundred greatest non-fiction books from the past two thousand five hundred years. Gourevitch’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and his reportage, essays, criticism, and short fiction, have appeared in numerous publications at home and abroad. In 2010 he was named a Chevallier de l’Ordre des Arts et Des Lettres in France. He is completing a new book, in which he revisits Rwanda, called, You Hide That You Hate Me And I Hide That I Know. And he will be the Spring 2016 Stein Visiting Writer at Stanford.