The book's title comes from a letter written by 7 Tutsi pastors (Ezekiel Semugeshi, Isaka Rucondo, Seth Rwanyabuto, Eliezer
Seromba, Seth Sebihe, Jerome Gakway, and Ezekias Zigirinshuti) to the leader of their flock, asking for his help:
April 15, 1994,
Our dear leader, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana,
How are you! We wish to be strong in all these problems we are facing. We wish to inform you that we have heard that tomorrown we will all be killed with our families. We therefore request you to intervean on our behalf and talk with the Mayor. We believe that with the help of God who entrusted you the leadership of this flock, which is going to be destroyed, your intervention will be highly appreciated, the same way as the Jews were save by Esther.
We give honor to you.
This book won numerous awards, including the 1998 National Book Critics Circle award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the 1999 Guardian First Book Award and the George K. Polk Award for Foreign Reporting.