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Maaza Mengiste - Author

About the Author

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright Scholar and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation programme at Queens College, she is the author of The Shadow King and Beneath the Lion's Gaze, named one of the Guardian's Ten Best Contemporary African Books. Her work can be found in the New Yorker, Granta, and the New York Times, among other publications. She lives in New York City. @MaazaMengiste |

Featured books by Maaza Mengiste

The Shadow King

The Shadow King

Author: Maaza Mengiste Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/08/2020

From the detailed domestic scenes dappled with loss, love, hardship and hanging on, to sweeping waves of war, the rare power of Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King creeps up on you, catches you unaware, becomes compulsive in the manner of complex classics of the ancient world. It’s 1935 in Ethiopia and newly-orphaned Hirut is employed as a maid by an officer in Emperor Hailie Selassie’s army. In her previous life, Hirut’s father taught her to use a gun: “This, he says, you do not touch unless you are prepared. Prepared for what, she asks. He slips the bullet back into his pocket. Prepared to be something you are not.”  And this is what Hirut is prepared for when Ethiopia is invaded by Mussolini’s vengeful army. Not content to merely care for the wounded, she devises a plan and rouses women to rise up and fight. As they shift from being housewives, to nurses, to warriors, their stories are haunting, harrowing and stirring, and this novel confirms Mengiste’s status as a writer blessed with lyrical bravery and unique vision. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Books of the Month

Other books by Maaza Mengiste

Unter den Augen des Lowen

Unter den Augen des Lowen

Author: Maaza Mengiste Format: Ebook Release Date: 08/10/2013

"e;Unter den Augen des Lowen"e; erzahlt am Beispiel einer Familie die blutigen Umbruche im Athiopien der 1970er Jahre. Whrend Hungersnte den Norden des Landes heimsuchen, wchst in der Landeshauptstadt Addis Abeba der Widerstand gegen den alten Kaiser Haile Selassie. Dawit, der Sohn des bekannten Arztes Hailu, schliet sich gegen den Willen des Vaters einer revolutionren Studentengruppe an. Als der Kaiser 1974 tatschlich gestrzt und die jahrhundertealte Monarchie gewaltsam abgeschafft wird, kommt eine kommunistische Gruppierung an die Macht, die das Land in einen verheerenden Brgerkrieg fhrt. In den Kriegswirren gert Hailu in Schwierigkeiten, als er einer jungen Frau, die gefoltert wurde, hilft zu sterben. Dawit geht erneut in den Untergrund. Inzwischen ist sein enger Kindheitsfreund Mickey zu einem hochrangigen Polizisten aufgestiegen. Familienbande und Freundschaften sehen sich brutalen Prfungen ausgesetzt.

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Author: Maaza Mengiste Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2011

The powerful debut from 2020 Booker Prize shortlisted author of The Shadow King Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974 - the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctioned torture to die. And Dawit, Hailu's youngest son, has joined an underground resistance movement-a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia. Emotionally gripping, poetic and indelibly tragic, Beneath the Lion's Gaze is a transcendent story that tells a gripping story of family and of the bonds of love and friendship. It is a story about the lengths to which human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. 'This is a book anchored to the body, vivid with smells and fears and violations' Guardian

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