Beneath the Lion's Gaze
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"An important novel, rich in compassion for its anguished characters."—The New York Times Book Review
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.
- January 2011
- 5.5 × 8.2 in
/ 308 pages
- Sales Territory: Worldwide excluding Canada and the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“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.” — Claire Messud, Bookforum
“Revolutionary Ethiopia in the seventies is the searing backdrop for Maaza Mengiste's incandescent debut . . . the acutely observed story of a family-a prominent doctor and his sons, one moderate, one mutinous—undone by war.” — Vogue
“The real marvel of this tender novel is its coiled plotting, in which coincidence manages to evoke the colossal emotional toll of the revolution.” — The New Yorker
“Mengiste gracefully builds the story to a heart-pumping conclusion. . . . Even with its share of tragedy, this is an absorbing drama . . . enhanced by the author's spare, spectacular prose.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The new generation of twenty-first-century African writers have now come of age. Without a doubt Habila is one of the best.”—Emmanuel DongalaMore