35 pages 1 hour read

Tracy Kidder

Strength in What Remains

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2000

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Key Figures


Known as “Deo,” Deogratias, a young African man, is the central figure of this book. His incredible story takes place during a major yet often overlooked historical event—the genocide in the tiny African nation of Burundi. Through the protection and compassion of others (who are often strangers), Deo manages to escape his war-torn nation to immigrate to New York City. The transition is rife with difficulties, but his intelligence and resourcefulness help him to survive and eventually, to achieve success at Columbia University. His lifelong passion for the wellbeing of others leads him to connect with the Partners in Health medical group and eventually construct a clinic in Burundi. Deo goes through an intense process of self-realization and pain, which makes him very sensitive and committed to curing social ills. Through all the hardship he endures, his character remains unshakable; Deo retains his essential personality in the face of intense horror and suffering.

Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder is a Pulitzer-winning author as well as a figure in this narrative. He narrates Deo’s life story from childhood into the present (2006). Effectually, he functions as a mouthpiece for Deo, communicating to the reader and demonstrating how difficult it is for an ordinary Western observer to understand what Deo has endured.