Over the last 20 years, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder has written thoughtfully and compellingly about inner-city teaching, small-town living, the building of a 32-bit minicomputer, and the human dramas—yes, the human dramas—of constructing a house, among other things. His latest, Strength in What Remains, is the story of Deogratias, who fled his native Burundi as a young medical student during the civil war there in the 1990s and arrived in New York City with $200 in his pocket and nowhere to sleep (Central Park served that purpose for a while). The book documents not just Deo’s improbable journey to Columbia University, medical school, and American citizenship, but also his return to Burundi in 2006, with Kidder in tow, to build a medical clinic. Kidder has said his only thought when he heard Deo’s story was that he himself wouldn’t have survived. At least for us, the master narrator can chronicle how Deo did.
KIDDER READS AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS & PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.