Small Country Setting

Gaël Faye
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Rwanda

Though very few of the novel’s scenes are actually set in Rwanda, Rwanda is arguably the most important setting for the novel as a whole. It serves as the backdrop to the novel and, as the central influence on the novel’s more obvious setting, Burundi. Rwanda is a country in a landlocked country in East Africa, just north of Burundi. Its principal language is Kinyarwanda, a language that Gino speaks but that Gabriel and Ana do not because Maman chose not to teach them the language. The two dominant ethnic groups in Rwanda are the Hutus and the Tutsis. For several months in 1994, described in this novel, the tensions between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups escalated into what is now known as genocide. The novel describes how this violence spilled over into Burundi.

Burundi

Burundi is the novel’s principal setting. Burundi is located just south...

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This section contains 600 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Small Country Study Guide
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