12.11.07 - RWANDA/BOOK - "THE ANTELOPE'S STRATEGY" (JEAN HATZFELD) MEDICIS PRIZE 2007

  Arusha, 12 November 2007 (FH) - Jean Hatzfeld's novel "The Antelope's Strategy", which evokes the cohabitation of the victims and the authors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, received Monday the Medicis prize, one of the most prestigious rewards of French literature.   
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Jean Hatzfeld, 58, a former international correspondent for the French newspaper Libération, is the author of two preceding works on the genocide. "Life Laid Bare", published in 2001, tells of the survival of genocide survivors. "Machete Season", published in 2003, cites the authors of these massacres whose testimonies were collected in the prisons.
 
"The Antelope's Strategy", which announces itself openly as a dramatization, all literary works being fiction, was written after the release of prisoners held in the Rilima prison and who returned home. He also uses the testimonies of the inhabitants of the Nyamata hill, in the region of Bugesera, in south-eastern Rwanda. They, the victims or their families and the authors of these aggressions, now live side by side.
 
These three books are supported by dozens of interviews collected for months from Rwandans from the hills, "posted at the edge of the marshes". "Confronted with the Rwandan genocide, I felt this vertiginous feeling of approaching the pit", said Hatzfeld in a recent interview. Made of often poetic quotes and evocations, these books were quite popular in France and in the francophone world.

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