Strength in What Remains was written by Tracy Kidder, who is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and was published in 2009. The book is a nonfiction book, a biography of a man from Burundi named Deogratias, aka Deo. Deo is a Tutsi who survived the Hutu-Tutsi conflict in his home country during the early 1990s. He was in his third year of medical school when the president was assassinated, and extreme violence and mass killings ensued.
When Deo finally makes it to the United States, he has nothing with him except for his incredible willpower to live and become a healer, a doctor. Deo first arrives at New York City, where he is homeless and feels out of place as an immigrant. However, his indefatigable aspirations push him to become not just a survivor but also a hero who returns to Burundi to help his people as well as people in the United States.
Kidder writes about Deo’s life in a way that presents it realistically but completely conveys the beauty of human nature’s strength and the power of hope. Kidder openly expresses his fear for Deo and what he learns from Deo’s journey. Strength in What Remains tells of Deo’s inspiring life that builds up the themes of endurance, willpower, redemption, and the satisfaction of overcoming adversity.