Book to Look Out for: The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya
Clemantine Wamariya was six-years old when the genocide broke out in Rwanda in 1994. She fled from the country into Burundi and along with her older sister would move through refugees camps in southern Africa before ending up in the United States where they were granted asylum in 2000. Her book, the Girl Who Smiled Beads (co-written with Elizabeth Weil) is scheduled for a U.S. release in April 2018. In it she presents a scintillating story of resilience, courage and determination in the midst of insurmountable odds as she journeyed from the refugee camps to studying at Yale University where she received a BA in Comparative Literature.
When asked in an interview by American edition of Vogue magazine about what she hoped that readers would learn from her story, she responded:
I truly hope readers learn to believe in their imaginations and their ability to shape their own lives. That’s what The Girl Who Smiled Beads means to me. The title comes from a fable my nanny told me when I was really young. At every point she paused and said, “What do you think happened next?” and whatever I said, whatever future I imagined, came true. Even today, that fable allows me to hold on to the belief that I have the power to create my own reality and future