On September 23 at 7:30 pm EDT, Scholastique Mukasonga joins Community Bookstore to present her new story collection Igifu, in conversation with Martha Cooley. Co-sponsored by Adelphi University’s MFA program. This event will be translated, and will take place on Zoom.
Register for free here.
Igifu, translated from the French by Jordan Stump, is a collection of Scholastique Mukasonga’s autobiographical stories, which 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. Her writing eclipses the great gaps of time and memory; in one scene she is a child sitting squat with a jug of sweet, frothy milk and in another she is an exiled teacher, writing down lists of her dead. As in all her work, Scholastique sits up with them.
Born in Rwanda in 1956, Scholastique Mukasonga experienced from childhood the violence and humiliation of the ethnic conflicts that shook her country. In the aftermath of the brutal genocide of the Tutsi, Mukasonga learned that 37 of her family members had been massacred. Her first novel, Our Lady of the Nile, was adapted into a film by Atiq Rahimi in 2019, and won the 2012 Prix Renaudot Prize. The New York Times named her memoir Cockroaches one of the “50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years.” In 2019, The Barefoot Woman was a finalist for the National Book Award for Translation.
Martha Cooley is the author of the national bestseller The Archivist, ThirtyThree Swoons, and Guesswork: A Reckoning with Loss. The Archivist was a New York Times Notable Book and a New and Noteworthy paperback. Cooley is currently a contributing editor at A Public Space. Her cotranslations of Italian fiction and poetry include Antonio Tabucchi’s story collection Time Ages in a Hurry. A professor of English at Adelphi University, Cooley divides her time between Queens, New York, and Castiglione del Terziere, Italy.