Maaza Mengiste with Salar Abdoh
One of our favorite novelists, with her celebrated debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, and then last year’s extraordinary The Shadow King (just longlisted for the 2020 Man Booker Prize!), Maaza Mengiste ‘visits’ from her New York City home to help discuss an anthology derived from her true home city of origin, Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa Noir (Akashic) is edited by her, a wonderful array of stories portraying Ethiopia’s capitol city from various angles and aspects, enlightening, entertaining, and illuminating in many ways.
“Addis is one of Africa’s—and the world’s—most vibrant, dynamic scene, and the new Akashic collection displays it in all its complexity. With acclaimed writer Maaza Mengiste at the editing helm, the book brings together an exciting collection of voices exploring the city’s noir side. This is a chance for readers to discover an important literary scene and to explore a city’s past and present.”—CrimeReads.
“Each contributor embraces day-to-day life in Ethiopia, and fills each story with a rich sense of time, place, and character. The authors reveal much about a culture unfamiliar to many American readers.” —Publishers Weekly.
This, among the many glowing reviews for Maaza Mengiste’s novel, The Shadow King, which features Ethiopian resistance (led by a warrior woman) to Italy on the eve of World War II: “A sprawling, unforgettable epic from an immensely talented author who's unafraid to take risks... [R]endered all the more effective by Mengiste's gift at creating memorable characters... The star of the novel, however, is Mengiste's gorgeous writing, which makes The Shadow King nearly impossible to put down... [O]ne of the most beautiful novels of the year.” - Namwali Serpell, New York Times Book Review.
With Maaza Mengiste in conversation this evening is Iranian novelist Salar Abdoh, whose spectacular debut novel, Out of Mesopotamia (Akashic) is just being released.