Book Passage Presents
Wed., July 7, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Live • Online
In conversation with Adam Hochschild
Inspired by true stories, author and activist Mindy Uhrlaub shines a light on the injustices against women, children and other at-risk populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in her latest novel, Unnatural Resources. Considered by many as the “rape capital of the world,” the DRC in central Africa is beset by acts of violence, torture and murder, perpetrated by bands of organized militia groups. Women, young girls and child soldiers are subdued and victimized on a daily basis.
When her Congolese village is destroyed by an invading militia group, eleven-year-old Therese is injured and outcast. Stranded in a war-torn jungle, she is forced to make a choice: lie down and become another victim of the war or stand up and survive. Desperate to find her mother and brother, she uses her greatest gift, her knowledge of English, to navigate the vast web of humanitarian aid groups. Unnatural Resources is a stunning and unflinchingly brutal redefinition of the meaning of family. This book tells the story of a young Congolese girl who becomes a symbol of hope in the worst place in the world to be female.
Mindy Uhrlaub has traveled twice with Human Rights Watch and Eve Ensler’s V-Day to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has taken testimony of rape survivors and child soldiers. Her interest in preventing the pillage of resources in Congo has also led her to visit Virunga National Park and to sit on the committee for Human Rights Watch’s Voices for Justice Dinner.
Adam Hochschild is the author of ten books, including his most recent, Rebel Cinderella. King Leopold’s Ghost was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as was To End All Wars. His Bury the Chains was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and PEN USA Literary Award. He lives in Berkeley, California.