THIS IS WHAT I WROTE ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO. Gustave and I decided that we wanted to work a little more on the chapter that I had posted below, so we have suspended it for a little while.
Meanwhile, I thrive at Blue Mountain Center. I'm writing up a storm, on target with my deadlines vis-a-vis the book on Rwanda with Gustave and generally feel so fortunate to have this opportunity. More later. With photos.
This is my first blog since I was in South Africa in 2011. Can it be that long? Can it be that long since I had a fellowship from The Ford Foundation to spend three months in Cape Town and “complete” my memoir?! Dream on, Urdang….! I started over, pretty much. I took another five years. Then I finished. Then I waited. And waited. Inevitable rejections, among good, supportive responses. My waiting paid off. In November this year, Mapping My Way Home: Activism, Nostalgia, and the Downfall of Apartheid South Africa will be published by Monthly Review Press.
But meanwhile, waiting got to me. I had to DO something. So I did ‘something’: I began another book. This one a collaboration. Gustave Mukurarinda and I had hatched an idea to write a book together about his experiences surviving the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 when he was just eleven. This “hatching” took place many years back when I visited Rwanda, when he came to the US and stayed with us, when I saw him in Montreal after he emigrated to Canada (he is now living in Edmonton).
I promised myself I would not write another book unless I had a publisher. So we signed a contract. Problem with a contract, it has deadlines! Contractual ones. So now we are producing a book at a rapid pace, far more rapid than I would want. It will but published early 2019 by Annick Press, Toronto in time for the 25th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsis but the final, final deadline in the end of January 2018. I am writing it in a style with young adults in mind (Annick is a young adult press), but also for adults. It’s not a book that can be constricted into one genre. It’s a universal, moving story.
Happily, I was accepted into Blue Mountain Center, that fabulous artists’ residency in the Adirondacks, for four weeks beginning September 22nd. It will give me a chance to finish the draft and hopefully meet the first deadline for the draft at the end of October.