Monday, June 13, 2011

"Each Bird Must Fly On Its Own Wings": Gaile Parkin

"Baking Cakes In Kigali" (Amazon) is a book about many things. But mostly, it's a book about people. The book takes place in Rwanda, sometime after the genocides-I believe around 2000. I'm not entirely sure. It tells the story of Angel Tungaraza and her community. Though she is not from Rwanda herself, she has many encounters with those who survived the genocide.

Gaile Parkin did something amazing with this book. It covers many heavy topics-AIDS, genocide, genital mutilation-without being heavy. At no point did I want to put the book down because it was too depressing or upsetting. All of these topics are handled very gracefully, and presented as facts of life, albeit facts of life that Angel is struggling to deal with.

Unfortunately, I could not find any contact information for Gaile Parkin. If I were to send her an email, I would tell her that I found her work beautiful and inspiring. It was a book about people surviving, but it was light enough that it wouldn't be out of place as a "beach book." Not once did it feel preachy. Instead, it is up to the reader to form opinions and decide what lessons they want to take away.

Well, this is the last of the books in my possession. Tomorrow I'm supposed to get another couple of books delivered, so there's that. However, I have something else to talk about tomorrow, so there will definitely be a post!

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