... poignant ... Notwithstanding the brutality he describes, Dogon’s tale possesses a beguiling delicacy. We never lose sight of his humanity, even if he often doubts it himself ... As he reminds himself, for every neighbor who used the post-genocide turmoil as an opportunity to loot and rape, there was a local villager, a stranger on the road, who warned his family members of approaching danger, hid them at great personal risk and treated their wounds. Scrupulously recorded, these are the moments that restore his — and his readers’ — faith in mankin ... This book beautifully captures the colossal waste that the refugee experience — essentially a state of suspended animation — represents ... Dogon’s own story closes with a possibility of Rwandan citizenship, but it is far from assured. Reality rarely offers the neatness of happy endings. Flotsam and jetsam of the modern world, refugees are engaged in a dogged battle to endow a modicum of dignity to lives over which they exert almost no control. Dogon rises to that challenge far better than most of us would.
His survival, he notes more than once, is a miracle, but his story alone is not what makes this account so shockingly powerful. In describing the most tragic and terrifying of circumstances, Dogon, working with coauthor Krajeski, creates sentences to describe the most tragic and terrifying of circumstances that are, without exception, elegant, arresting, and possessing a beauty that only a gifted truth-teller can attain ... [a] radiant testimony to the losses suffered by all refugees, an arresting demand that we recognize the humanity of people the world over who have no choice but to leave their homes forever.
... searing ... Throughout this memoir, Dogon shares stories about his family and their efforts to find safety. His plea is that the world does not forget the many refugees still living in stateless purgatory ... Those interested in international relations, immigration, and social work will find Dogon’s firsthand account essential reading.