Igifu

Igifu

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Scholastique Mukasonga's autobiographical stories rend a glorious Rwanda from the obliterating force of recent history, conjuring the noble cows of her home or the dew-swollen grass they graze on. In the title story, five-year-old Colomba tells of a merciless overlord, hunger or igifu, gnawing away at her belly. She searches for sap at the bud of a flower, scraps of sweet potato at the foot of her parent s bed, or a few grains of sorghum in the floor sweepings.

Igifu becomes a dizzying hole in her stomach, a plunging abyss into which she falls.