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Waiting For The Sunrise


One Family's Struggle against Genocide and Racism  is the personal account of an interracial family's struggle against pervasive racism in the U.S. and the horrors of the civil war that plagued Rwanda in 1994.  Raised in the American Midwest, author Elizabeth Gatorano, who is white, had no idea of the trials she would face after marrying Phanuel, who is black and an immigrant to the U.S. from Rwanda.  Prejudice against their marriage followed them and their children wherever they went, often making them the focus of racist discrimination and threats of violence at home and at work.


In 1995, I began to record interviews and document events. In 1996, I was inspired to write my story. At first, I wrote the story longhand in journals. At one point, I began to write my story on a computer, and I eventually lost the story when my computer crashed. I grieved for weeks and decided to box up all documents and put them on a shelf. In December of 2004, I was disheartened by the ongoing disunity I was experiencing in my life. Being a Bahá’í—a religion that is founded on the principle of unity, I felt as if I had failed to fulfill a cherished goal in my life. It was then that I realized that my children did not know our family’s story. I wrote, “Waiting for the Sunrise solely for my children.” There were moments while writing I would experience episodes of euphoria. These moments would pass, and I would be relieved to know that the story would remain private. Through one of these euphoric moments, I sent the manuscript to a publisher. Though I tried to pull the book, the senior editor, Terry Cassiday encouraged me to publish it.


Though my editor, Christopher Martin, made the editing process a memorable, easy experience, I was tormented with fear through the process of publishing. Near the completion of publishing, I found comfort drawing from the courage of those who preceded me in the quest for fighting for human rights. It was these images that moved me forward.              


Received Honorable Mention New England Book

Festival 2008  


Received Honorable Mention Hollywood Book

Festival 2009


Received Honorable Mention London Book Festival 2009


Book Also Available at Following:

Teacher’s Guide's_Guide_WST.pdf