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Maaza Mengiste

October 19, Copley Square
Maaza Mengiste is an award-winning novelist and essayist. She was born in Addis Ababa but spent her childhood in Nigeria, Kenya, and the United States after her family fled the Ethiopian Revolution. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was named one of the ten best contemporary African books by the Guardian. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Granta, and other publications, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Mengiste is heavily involved in human rights work through her positions on the board for Words without Borders and Warscapes, an independent online magazine. She teaches creative writing at Queens College, City University of New York and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University. Her second novel, The Shadow King, received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, which praised her for an “evocative, mesmerizing account of the role of women during wartime―not just as caregivers, but as warriors defending their country.”