Lukas Barfuss One Hundred Days

ISBN 13: 9781847084804

One Hundred Days

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9781847084804: One Hundred Days

When Swiss aid worker David Hohl arrives in Rwanda in 1990, he wants to know what it feels like to make a difference.Instead, he finds himself among expats, living a life of postcolonial privilege and boredom, and he begins to suspect that the agency is more concerned with political expedience than improving lives. But are his own motives any more noble?When civil war breaks out and David goes into hiding, he is forced to examine his own relationship to the country he wants to help and to the cosmopolitan Rwandan woman he wants to possess. As the genocide rages over the course of one hundred desperate days, the clear line David has always drawn between idealism and complicity quickly begins to blur.

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About the Author:

Lukas Bärfuss, born in Thun, Switzerland in 1971, is one of the most successful dramatists to emerge in recent years, and his plays are staged all over the world. Bärfuss was voted playwright of the year in the critic poll featured by the magazine ""Theater heute"" in 2005. Bärfuss was awarded the Mara-Cassens Prize, the Schiller Prize and the Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis for One Hundred Days. He was also nominated for the German and Swiss Book Prize.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Is this what a broken man looks like, I wonder, as I sit across from

him in the afternoon and outside the snow we had been expecting

for days finally starts to fall in delicate flakes onto the brownish

green fields. It’s hard to say exactly what in him is broken, certainly

not his backbone. He sits up straight, chooses his words

deliberately, without haste, and seems almost relaxed. Only the

way he raises the cup to his lips, slowly, a touch too slowly, too

controlled, might offer a hint of his inner devastation. Maybe he’s

worried that spilling even a single drop might be enough to upset

his equilibrium. I know I don’t need to speculate, because he is a

broken man, he must be, after all he has told me and, even more

importantly, all that he hasn’t.

Occasionally he pauses while speaking, often in the middle of

a sentence. I can see in his eyes how he remembers, just remembers

and doesn’t speak, maybe because he doesn’t have the words,

hasn’t found them yet and probably never will. It seems as if his

eyes are following the events, those events that took place in

Amsar House, where he spent the hundred days. The most surprising

part of this story is that he was the one who had lived

through it, he who had seemed destined to suffer nothing more

than the usual dose of human catastrophe: a nasty divorce, a

serious illness, at the very most a house fire. He certainly didn’t

seem like someone who would end up in the middle of a crime

of the century. Not this man, not David Hohl, who went to

school with me and in whom I can still see the lanky boy with the

slightly pendulous lower lip from which a thread of saliva seemed

about to drip whenever something amazed him, but of course

never actually did fall. His lip was just always a bit moist and

merely showed more clearly than others’ did exactly what lips are,

namely the inside of the mouth turned outward.

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