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Download Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,666 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tracy Kidder Narrator: Tracy Kidder Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9780739383384
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Tracy Kidder, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of the best sellers The Soul of a New Machine, House, and the enduring classic Mountains Beyond Mountains, has been described by the Baltimore Sun as the "master of the non-fiction narrative". In this new book, Kidder gives us the superb story of a hero for our time. Strength in What Remainsis a wonderfully written, inspiring account of one man's remarkable American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him; a brilliant testament to the power of will and of second chances.

Deo arrives in America from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, plagued by horrific dreams, he lands at JFK airport with 200 dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores. Then Deo begins to meet the strangers who will change his life, pointing him eventually in the direction of Columbia University, medical school, and a life devoted to healing. Kidder breaks new ground in telling this unforgettable story as he travels with Deo back over a turbulent life in search of meaning and forgiveness. 

An extraordinary writer, Tracy Kidder once again shows us what it means to be fully human by telling a story about the heroism inherent in ordinary people, a story about a life based on hope.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Extraordinarily stirring…It’s certainly not the first time we’ve heard heartbreaking accounts of the civil wars in Africa. But there is a touching intimacy about Deogratias’s tale, and it forces us to look hard at the baffling history of the region.”

    Washington Post

  • “This profoundly gripping, hopeful, and crucial testament is a work of the utmost skill, sympathy, and moral clarity.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Terrifying at turns, but tremendously inspiring…A key document in the growing literature devoted to postgenocidal justice.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “That 63-year-old Tracy Kidder may have just written his finest work—indeed, one of the truly stunning books I’ve read this year—is proof that the secret to memorable nonfiction is so often the writer’s readiness to be surprised…Kidder’s approach is a reminder of what can make American nonfiction so exceptional although, of late, it is rare. It’s that bottom-up quality that defies big-budget marketing and calculation, the search from on high for a ‘sure thing.’ In this connected age, disruptive change—and transforming insights—bubble up furiously from the least likely places. Kidder saw that bottom-up flash of energy in the smile of a peripheral man. And we are lucky he did.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the September 2009 Indie Next List
  • A 2009 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for General Nonfiction
  • A 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 2/18/2014

    " I wanted to like this book more than I did. I have lots of admiration for Deo and everything that he has overcome, and I learned a lot about the history of Burundi and Rwanda. I only give it three stars because I didn't feel that engaged while I was reading it. I think that was my fault though, not the fault of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 2/15/2014

    " This is another Tracey Kidder classic - read Mountains Beyond Mountains first and then this. The young Burundi medical student chronicled in this book becomes a follower of Paul Farmer after escaping the genocide in Burundi and Rwanda and coming to New York. I'm a sucker for these stories of perseverance, but I'm always glad to get my head out of WAshington and be reminded of people who really overcome hardships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven Bass | 2/9/2014

    " Okay. But I prefer his other books more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 2/7/2014

    " The part of this book that I liked most dealt with the main character's attempts to gain a foothold on life in New York. I really think everyone should read this book as we should all learn about the outrageous deeds of genocide that have occurred in Africa. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caitlin | 1/14/2014

    " Not particularly well-written at all, but I gave it 4 stars because of the inspirational and motivating story, and thorough information on the civil wars of Burundi and Rwanda, of which I was ill-informed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie Schwartz | 1/14/2014

    " I didn't read the book; I listened to the audiobook, which was narrated by Tracy Kidder. Since this story is told from Kidder's point of view, the narration was powerful and brought a sense of urgency and life to the story. The story itself is unbelievable and inspirational. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/13/2014

    " interesting story; oddly written in a way "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Josie | 1/11/2014

    " This book sucks. I hate this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lena Carter | 1/11/2014

    " I thought this book was very informative about the crisis in Burundi. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 1/10/2014

    " Couldn't finish it. Not because it was too sad, but because I didn't enjoy the style of writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethbe | 12/14/2013

    " Parts of this book were very hard to read content wise, it does address genocide in Barunda. That is not the heart of this book though, the main characters American experience is. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 12/8/2013

    " Well written. Fascinating story of a doctor from Burundi. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/19/2013

    " A moving account of Deo who survived civil war and genocide in Burundi and went back to set up a health clinic with support from Paul Farmer's organization. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 9/27/2013

    " Read this one in order to balance my chi after reading Rob Lowe's autobiography. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 3/25/2013

    " This is a painful yet hopeful book. After reading about the trauma this man endured in Burundi and learning about how he transformed his experience into creating a medical clinic was truly inspiring but it was not an easy read. Great writing by Tracy Kidder and an amazing subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerin | 2/19/2013

    " I knew nothing about the issues between Hutu and Tutsi that contributed to the genocides on Burundi and Rwanda. So I learned a lot about that in this book. Also, it was a remarkable story about what happened to the author once he arrived in America. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Perry | 1/29/2013

    " EXCELLENT! This book along with Mountains Beyond Mountains should be on a list of most inspiring books ever! I hope to make a difference someday like Deo and Dr. Paul Farmer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/18/2012

    " wow, we DO live different lives "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 11/21/2012

    " An amazing look at the journey of a young man who leaves Burundi during the times of genocide there and in neighboring Rwanda, and travels to the US to start a new life. A well-written glimpse at the horror that he left, and hope that he found among strangers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 11/20/2012

    " I liked it, but preferred Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains to this. Particularly liked Deo's return to Columbia when he revists with Kidder "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 5/23/2011

    " a little disjoint, but an amazing story of Deogratia who is a refugee from Burundi and lived through amazing experiences... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Stepper | 5/23/2011

    " An interesting story but, ... It somehow seemed fragmented and incoherent compared to "Mountains Beyond Mountains". As terrific a writer as Kidder is, I'd almost wished Deo told his own story rather than have it related, in parts, by Kidder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashland | 5/22/2011

    " Very well written. Hard to get through some parts about African violence. Good story. True I think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 5/17/2011

    " This book shows the horrors we can inflict on each other and the amazing resilience and forgiveness we're capable of. Very valuable education about Africa and the "immigration" process in NYC "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 5/17/2011

    " Tracey Kidder writes non-fiction so that it feels like fiction. He is a master communicator--and this book is amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 5/11/2011

    " Very inspirational and thought provoking. Looking forward to the book club discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dot | 5/6/2011

    " My book club needs to pick cheerier titles. Reading this after Pearl Buck in China was a double whammy of worldwide grief. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 4/15/2011

    " I listened to this book in the car and found myself sitting at my destination, not wanting to turn it off so I could keep listening. A heart-wrenching and inspiring story of a young man who survived the genocide in Burundi in 1994. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 4/15/2011

    " The slaughter of the Tutsis by the Hutus and the survival of one man is all consuming. Interesting, but not an easy read. "

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About the Author
Author Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, among other literary prizes. He is the author of The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, and others.