"Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe," by Gérard Prunier (Oxford University Press, 2009). The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval.
"Half of a Yellow Sun," by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, 2006). A powerful novel about an earlier African civil war, the Biafra War of the 1960s, tells the story from several different perspectives. Won the Orange Prize for Fiction.
"Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust," by Immaculee Ilibagiza (Hay House, 2006). Another inspirational story by a survivor of the Rwandan genocide.
"Life after Violence: A People’s Story of Burundi," by Peter Uvin (Zed Books, 2009). Weaves together the voices of ordinary Burundians and contrasts their perspectives with the assumptions often made by international development and peace-building agencies.
"Lost Boy: Valentino and the Lost Boys of the Sudan," by Dave Eggers (Hamish Hamilton Ltd., 2007). A fictionalized memoir of a refugee from the Sudanese civil war of the 1980s and 90s.
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder (Random House, 2004). The book that led Kidder to Deo, the hero of "Strength in What Remains."
They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan, by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, Benjamin Ajak, Judy A. Bernstein (Public Affairs, 2006). The Deng brothers and their cousin Benjamin were all under the age of seven when they left their homes after terrifying attacks on their villages during the Sudanese civil war. Relocated to the U.S. after living in a refugee camp in Kenya, they filled their composition books with their childhood experiences, their treacherous trek and their education in the camp ("People were learning under trees").
"This Voice in My Heart: A Runner's Memoir of Genocide, Faith, and Forgiveness," by Gilbert Tuhabonye, Gary Brozek (Amistad, 2007). The inspirational story of a survivor of the Rwandan genocide who, having forgiven his enemies and moved forward with his life, became a world–class athlete, running coach, and celebrity in his new hometown of Austin, Texas.
"We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda," by Philip Gourevitch (Picador, 1999). In this complex and wrenching book, we learn why the Rwandan genocide should not be written off as just another tribal dispute. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction
See also the film "Hotel Rwanda."
Other books by Tracy Kidder:
The Soul of a New Machine (1981), the Pulitzer-Prize winning account of the "Hardy Boys" and "Microkids" of Data General Corporation.
House (1985), an account of a couple building their dream home.
Among Schoolchildren (1990), an account of a fifth-grade teacher's passionate dedication to the children in her classroom; this book won the National Book Critics’ Circle Award.
Old Friends (1993), about life in a nursing home.
Home Town (1999), about life in an American small town.