Sehene, Benjamin 1959–

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Sehene, Benjamin 1959–

PERSONAL:

Born 1959, in Kigali, Rawanda; immigrated to Canada, 1988.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Writer.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Prix Panafricain du Livre de Voyage, 2000.

WRITINGS:

(With Liesel Couvreur-Schiffer) Le Piège ethnique (title means ‘The Ethnic Trap"), Editions Dagorno (Paris, France), 1999.

Le Feu sous la soutane: Un prêtre au coeur du génocide rwandais, Esprit Frappeur (Paris, France), 2005.

Also author of the blog Benjamin Sehene's Short Stories.

SIDELIGHTS:

Benjamin Sehene is a writer who was born in Kigali, Rwanda's capital city. By the age of four, however, he and his family were forced into exile and moved to neighboring Uganda. By 1984 Sehene had immigrated to Canada; he began writing a few years later. While he was living in Paris, the 1994 genocide began in Rwanda, spurring Sehene to eventually return to his country of birth and publish his first book, Le Piège ethnique. Meaning ‘The Ethnic Trap,’ Sehene's account covers his experience while in Rwanda in search of his identity in the midst of the genocide and civil war.

In 2005 Sehene published Le Feu sous la soutane: Un prêtre au coeur du génocide rwandais, the first novel by a Rwandan about the genocide. Sehene draws on his personal experiences of being in the country and retells a portion of the events through Stanislas, a character based on a Catholic priest who gave shelter to Tutsi women and then raped them. Stanislas, half Tutsi himself, eventually grows to hate them and rationalizes his part in the killings by considering the entire ethnic group as an invading army. Adele King, writing in World Literature Today, called Sehene's story ‘a convincing novel about the complexities of history and how individuals respond. Although fiction, it tells about how propaganda and fear have turned people into accomplices of genocide."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

World Literature Today, July 1, 2006, Adele King, review of Le Feu sous la soutane: Un prêtre au coeur du génocide rwandais, p. 69.

ONLINE

AuthorsDen.com,http://www.authorsden.com/ (October 1, 2007), author profile.

Benjamin Sehene Home Page,http://www.benjaminsehene.com (October 1, 2007).

WritersNet Web site,http://www.writers.net/ (October 1, 2007), author profile.