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A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche
The pool, in A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, is the one at the Mille-Collines hotel in Kigali, Rwanda, and is a popular place for aid workers, journalists, expatriates, Rwandan bourgeoisie, and prostitutes to gather. Working there is a waitress, Gentille, who falls in love with a Canadian journalist, Bernard Valcourt, who is doing a story on the AIDS epidemic. Gentille is a Hutu, but has a body and skin color like a Tutsi. As Gentille and Bernard plan their wedding, the country quickly descends in a civil conflagration, as the massacre of 800,000 people begins during tribal hostilities between the Hutus and Tutsis. Gentille and Bernard try to escape to Nairobi, but she is kidnapped and disappears. Canadian journalist Gil Courtemanche has written a powerful story of the Rwandan genocide that has received high praise. The Observer says of A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, "The story is intense and gut-wrenching and, at his best, Courtemanche remains detached enough from the catastrophes and horrors to be both poetic and disquieting."