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Deo arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, plagued by horrific dreams, he lands at JFK airport with 200 dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life in search of meaning and forgiveness.
An extraordinary writer, Tracy Kidder once again shows us what it means to be fully human by telling a story about the heroism inherent in ordinary people, a story about a life based on hope.
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By Roy on 08-31-09
My Favorite of Kidder's Books
This is Tracy Kidder's true life story about one Burundi named Deogratias (or Deo). Deo was a medical student in Burundi forced to leave his home during the genocida civil war. He made his way to New York where Kidder begins Deo's story.
The story of his beginning life in New York City is heart rending, but the chapters on the genocide are particularly frightening. Every skill Kidder has at hand is focused on this informative, enlightening story. The reader learns about communication, immigration, war, and many aspects of the human condition.
The compassion that Kidder has for his subject is clear. His characterizations are rich. Kidder does a wonderful job of reading his own book. I am going to buy copies for my friends this holidays.
Mr. Kidder, thank you for opening our eyes to Deo's plight and the horrors many face even in our own country.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful