Through Metaphor and Memory: An Ethiopian Story - Maaza Mengiste

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March 21st 2012, 7:00 pm — 9:30 pm

Location: Mercy Corps Action Center

What: An evening with Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion's Gaze - an historical fiction account of the 1974 youth revolution in Ethiopia.

When: Wednesday, March 21, 7 pm

Where: At the Mercy Corps Action Center, 28 SW 1st Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

Tickets $15 Regular; $10 Students. Purchase your tickets online at brown paper tickets, by phone (503-896-5747), or in person at the Action Center.

Maaza Mengiste's novel, Beneath the Lion's Gaze, follows a family when confrontation between traditional and modern forces erupt and change the political, economic, and social nature of the Ethiopian state. Mengiste herself was a refugee as a result of that revolution – her mother brought her to a small town in Colorado to live in a home for refugees. Her mother left her after a few days and Mengiste grew up with a group Libyan students who had fled the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. She has written several articles on how Ethiopia’s revolution relates to the current events in Libya and Egypt.

A 2010-11 Fulbright Scholar, Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, she was named "New Literary Idol" by New York Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Ninth Letter, and 42opus (an online magazine), and has been translated and published into German and Romanian for Lettre International. The recipient of fellowships from the Prague Summer Program, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Yaddo and the Emily Harvey Foundation, Mengiste lives in New York.

Mengiste is working on her next novel, The Shadow King. Set during the early days of WWII, it is a story about Fascist Italy’s invasion and occupation of Ethiopia and the army of Ethiopian men and women who confront them.