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All Iowa Reads 2012 Selects Kidder

by on February 10th, 2012
All Iowa Reads 2012 Selects Kidder Cover Image

The 2012 All Iowa Reads title is Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains, only the second nonfiction book in the program’s nine year history.  Strength in What Remains tells the story of Deogratis, or Deo, who as a 22 year old medical student barely escapes the Hutu slaughter of Tutsis in Burundi.  He finds himself in New York City in 1994 with no English skills and $200.  The story moves back and forth in time and place — from Africa to New York.  And. although the horror of events in Africa is almost undescribable, living poor on the streets of New York as a young black man with no money is not an easy life either.  Deo is helped by remarkable, generous people — but, the personal courage and fortitude needed to prevail is his.  As a member of the All Iowa Reads Committee I recently did a program on this book with Kirkwood instructor, George Minot.  He said the key to good nonfiction writing is to “make what is true believable.”  Everyone should read this inspiring story from a great author who succeeds in that goal.

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