Tracy Kidder, an award winning, renowned author has received praise for his works in nonfiction. Kidder’s story is about a young Burundian man who has experienced great turmoil and eventually rises from the ashes. Kidder does a remarkable job of describing one man’s struggle to flee genocide and start a life in an unfamiliar world. Strength in What Remains is an artfully written account of Deo’s, a young medical student from Burundi, journey from Africa to The United States. The story is a testament to his strength, perseverance, and resilience along with the aid he received from ordinary strangers.
Deo is forced to leave his home in Burundi after the entire region breaks out into a civil war between the Hutus and Tutsis. His friends and neighbors were ruthlessly murdered and his homes and schools were destroyed. He recalled these events first hand to Kidder who turned Deo’s words into a vivid tale of success. When Deo arrives in NYC he lands in JFK airport with 200 dollars, he speaks absolutely no English, and does not know one person. Tormented by his nightmares of what he has experienced, he is bouncing from one make shift home to another. He survives by delivering groceries around Manhattan, teaching himself English by reading dictionaries and living in shelters he built in Central Park.
Through his journeys delivering groceries he meets a woman willing to help him in his pursuit of a medical career. His new friend Sharon would introduce him to Charlie and Nancy wolf, they would become his new family and teach him American culture as-well-as assist him in his studies. The rest of his life would be devoted to his dedication to the field of medicine and helping people who are in need of medical attention. Kidder does an incredible job of describing an unimaginable character’s triumph and the discovery of his meaning in life.