Tracy Kidder: Burundi and Back

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Writer Tracy Kidder's new book, “Strength in What Remains," deals with the travails of one African refugee — and the depths of the human soul, the capacity for good and evil.

Deogratias –- a young man from the obscure country of Burundi –- arrives in New York with nothing. No English, sleeping in Central Park. Within two years, he is attending Columbia University.

Kidder’s story goes further, though. It takes us back into the horrors of ethnic violence in Burundi. And as we stagger through the atrocities with Deo, we find ourselves asking questions about what we might have done — whether we would have survived — and how we would live afterward.

This Hour, On Point: an odyssey out of Africa — and war.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.Guests:

Tracy Kidder, Pulitzer Prize-winning non-fiction writer. He's author of such books as "Mountains Beyond Mountains," "The Soul of a New Machine," and "Home Town." His new book is "Strength in What Remains." You can listen to Kidder's 2003 On Point interview, which includes guest Dr. Paul Farmer.

Sarah Broom, executive director of Village Health Works, a medical organization based in Burundi that is featured in Tracy Kidder's new book.

Read an excerpt of Tracy Kidder's new book, "Strength in What Remains."

This program aired on September 1, 2009.


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