Catalogue


Beneath the lion's gaze : a novel /
Maaza Mengiste.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2010.
description
308 p.
ISBN
0393071766 (hardcover), 9780393071764 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : W. W. Norton & Co., c2010.
isbn
0393071766 (hardcover)
9780393071764 (hardcover)
catalogue key
7040863
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Indies' Choice Book Award, USA, 2011 : Nominated
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2009-10-12:
Ethiopia's 1974 revolution tears a family in half in this striking debut. Drought, famine and mutiny in the military are stretching Emperor Haile Selassie's regime to the breaking point, and when it finally tears, Hailu, a skilled and respected doctor in Addis Ababa, must find a way to shepherd his extended family through the ensuing violence. His task is made no easier by the fact that his son Dawit's fiery youthful convictions place him at odds with his more circumspect older brother, Yonas, a university professor with a wife and child. But when soldiers request Hailu to treat a gruesomely tortured political prisoner, he makes a fateful choice that puts his family in the military junta's crosshairs. Mengiste is as adept at crafting emotionally delicate moments as she is deft at portraying the tense and grim historical material, while her judicious sprinkling of lyricism imbues this novel with a vivid atmosphere that is distinct without becoming overpowering. That the novel subjects the reader to the same feelings of hopelessness and despair that its characters grapple with is a grand testament to Mengiste's talent. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2010-01-15:
Mengiste's debut novel follows the lives of a family of four in violent prewar Ethiopia in 1974. A recent New York University graduate, Mengiste was voted a "new literary idol" by New York magazine and garnered a Pushcart Prize nomination. Her honors do not belie her skill, for this book is stunning. In graphic descriptions and masterly prose, Mengiste sculpts her characters to reflect different aspects of the revolution, from Dawit, who spouts Marxism, to Hailu, a doctor who must deal with the brutal realities of revolution. Verdict Although the depictions of brutality are extensive, they are also realistic and captivating, helping place the book into a small cadre of Ethiopian fiction, including Abraham Verghese's Cutting the Stone and Camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the Belly. Fans of historical adult fiction will approve. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/09.]-Shalini Miskelly, Highline Community Coll., Des Moines, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
[Mengiste's] honors do not belie her skill, for this book is stunning.
Starred Review. [A] striking debut.... Mengiste is as adept at crafting emotionally delicate moments as she is deft at portraying the tense and grim historical material, while her judicious sprinkling of lyricism imbues this novel with a vivid atmosphere that is distinct without becoming overpowering.
What a beautiful book.
An arresting, powerful novel that works on both personal and political levels.
Beneath the Lion's Gaze is an extraordinary novel, which assembles a dauntingly broad cast of characters and, through them, tells stories that nobody can want to hear, in such a way that we cannot stop listening. Although set more than thirty years ago, Mengiste's novel is timely and vital: Its illumination of a world unfamiliar to most Americans shows us how individuals will fight to retain their humanity in the face of atrocity.
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, October 2009
Booklist, December 2009
Library Journal, December 2009
New York Times Full Text Review, December 2009
Library Journal, January 2010
Boston Globe, February 2010
USA Today, March 2010
Guardian UK, April 2010
Boston Globe, December 2010
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayerroom, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wrackedhis family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has beenordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctionedtorture to die. And Dawit, Hailu's youngest son, has joined anunderground resistance movement-a choice that will lead to moreupheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia. Beneath the Lion's Gazetells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendshipset in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction. It isa story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedomand the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping,poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath The Lion's Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.
Main Description
This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on 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. Beneath the Lion's Gaze tells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction. It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping, poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath The Lion's Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.
Description for Library
In 1970s Ethiopia, young Yonas's doctor father has been jailed for assisting a torture victim, and his brother has joined the resistance. Ethiopian-born Mengiste has been called a "New Literary Idol" by New York magazine. With a six-city tour and a reading group guide; the fiction title on this list I'm most eager to see.
Main Description
This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on 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. Beneath the Lion's Gaze tells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction. It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping, poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath The Lion's Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.
Back Cover Copy
Advance praise for Beneath the Lion "s Gaze: SWith words that make a faint, tender bruise " on the page, and a compassionate imagination that transforms everything it touches on, Maaza Mengiste delivers an important story from a part of Africa too long silent in the World Republic of Letters. ”Chris Abani, author of GraceLand and The Virgin of Flames "What a beautiful book! After a few chapters I felt I was a member of this family, a citizen of Ethiopia. Maaza Mengiste is talented and bold and fresh. Already, I'm looking forward to her next book." ”Uwe Akpan, author of Say You "re One of Them "Literature from the margins is often too poorly lit for us to see, but Mengiste takes us through this dark political hunt with the night vision of a lion. A novel both tender and brutal, fearless, it is accomplished beyond a first book. ”Dagoberto Gilb, author of The Magic of Blood and The Flowers
Back Cover Copy
Advance praise for Beneath the Lion's Gaze : 'œWith words that make 'a faint, tender bruise' on the page, and a compassionate imagination that transforms everything it touches on, Maaza Mengiste delivers an important story from a part of Africa too long silent in the World Republic of Letters.''”Chris Abani, author of GraceLand and The Virgin of Flames "What a beautiful book! After a few chapters I felt I was a member of this family, a citizen of Ethiopia. Maaza Mengiste is talented and bold and fresh. Already, I'm looking forward to her next book."'”Uwe Akpan, author of Say You're One of Them "Literature from the margins is often too poorly lit for us to see, but Mengiste takes us through this dark political hunt with the night vision of a lion. A novel both tender and brutal, fearless, it is accomplished beyond a first book.''”Dagoberto Gilb, author of The Magic of Blood and The Flowers
Back Cover Copy
Advance praise for Beneath the Lion's Gaze: With words that make 'a faint, tender bruise' on the page, and a compassionate imagination that transforms everything it touches on, Maaza Mengiste delivers an important story from a part of Africa too long silent in the World Republic of Letters.-Chris Abani, author of GraceLand and The Virgin of Flames "What a beautiful book! After a few chapters I felt I was a member of this family, a citizen of Ethiopia. Maaza Mengiste is talented and bold and fresh. Already, I'm looking forward to her next book."-Uwe Akpan, author of Say You're One of Them "Literature from the margins is often too poorly lit for us to see, but Mengiste takes us through this dark political hunt with the night vision of a lion. A novel both tender and brutal, fearless, it is accomplished beyond a first book.-Dagoberto Gilb, author of The Magic of Blood and The Flowers

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