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Book Tip: Baking Cakes in Kigali (Gaile Parkin, 2010)

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Text: Annika Böttcher /

If you don't have a book for the summer in your beach bag yet, you should now get Parkins' classic Baking Cakes in Kigali (2010), a light and airy tale about the creatively gifted baker Angel Tungaraza. Over a cup of tea, the main character learns a few things about her clients, and Angel's story unfolds before the reader's eyes. Together with her husband Piu, she migrated from Tanzania to Kigali after the genocide in Rwanda because of better job opportunities and, since her own children have died, she takes care of their five grandchildren.

Thanks to her numerous assignments for various occasions, Angel moves in very different social circles and thus spreads out over 350 pages a panorama of the city that goes far beyond the well-known picture of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda 1994. Warm-hearted and charming, the cake baker is devoted to all those who need a sympathetic ear and good advice. In addition, topics such as AIDS, education, development cooperation, fashion and language repeatedly find their way into the story.

Baking Cakes in Kigali is a novel worth reading for all those who can also appreciate longer passages and who, while not expecting a literary masterpiece on the beach, can count on a hearty read and a first impression of the Rwandan capital!

German: Parkin, Gaile: Kuchen backen in Kigali. (Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2010).

Originally published: Parkin, Gaile: Baking Cakes in Kigali. (Atlantic Books, 2009).



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