Favorite Book Fridays: Our Lady of the Nile

Cover of Our Lady of the Nile
Our Lady of the Nile

Welcome to the first posting in our new series, Favorite Book Fridays, where University of Chicago Library staff members share their favorite readings and the authors who inspire them. First up answering our questions is Sarah G. Wenzel.

About Sarah G. Wenzel

Job title:
Bibliographer for Literature of Europe & the Americas

Brief job description:
I support students and faculty by helping with research problems, teaching about research strategies, and buying books for the Library.

Years at the University of Chicago Library:

Sarah G. Wenzel
Photo by John Zich
Sarah G. Wenzel

About Sarah's favorite books

What is your favorite book?
Our Lady of the Nile (Notre-Dame du Nil), by Scholastique Mukasonga.

What makes it your favorite?
I never have one favorite book; however, this is the one that is pulling at my attention again and again at the moment. The story of a girls' school in Rwanda well before the genocide, yet presaging the events of the 1990s, gives the reader a lot to reflect on in terms of colonialism, the interactions of the different ethnicities in Rwanda, and human nature, as brought out in the lives of the students at the school. The translator has done beautiful work.

How did you find out about it? From a "book club" called the Alignist.

Are there any other books by that author that you like?
She has several other books; however, this is the only one translated into English.

What books are on your nightstand?
There There by Tommy Orange, Portrait of a Tongue by Yoko Tawada, and P. la mia adolescenza trans.

What is your preferred format?
I’m format agnostic.