February 8, 2020
by James D. Watts, Jr.
The title of Sonja Linden’s play, “I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda,” is the reaction Juliette, the young woman from Rwanda, expects the manuscript she is writing to receive.
Juliette is convinced that anyone who so much as glances through the pages of her manuscript – about the Rwandan genocide of 1994, when Tutis like Juliette and her family were slaughtered by machete-wielding Hutus – will be so gobsmacked by the beauty and brilliance of her work that they will immediately call the most important publisher in Great Britain, to inform them that this “most remarkable document” must be published as soon as possible.
Reality – in the form of Simon, a struggling writer who has been hired by a London refugee center to help people who want to try to put their life stories onto paper – does not live up to Juliette’s expectations. For one thing, Simon’s desk has no phone, so he has no way to call publishers to tell them of Juliette’s amazing book.