Helon Habila (Nigeria) and Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA) form, together with Madeleine Thein, USA), the jury of a literary prize. The prize is run by an organization with a long name. The name is the Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award. The winner of the prize will receive $5000.
Posted in Africa, books, Ethiopia, Helon Habila, Literature, Maaza Mengiste, Nigeria
Tagged Africa, books, Ethiopia, Helon Habila, literature, Maaza Mengiste, Nigeria
The issue of gender is coming more and more to the fore. Gender is a multifacetted way of describing your personhood, your being YOU. To many gender is linked to power, who is calling the shots, who is defining and setting standards.
Maaza Mengiste is one of the speakers at a session on gender and power. Read more about it here.
Every picture tells a story. Some prefer to write stories, others prefer to shoot pictures. In the end both of them are storytellers, each in his or her own way.
Maaza Mengiste is a storyteller with words, just have a look at her books. In recent times she has also included a look at photographs, that tell a story. In this article Aaron Bady writes about this move or expansion by Mengiste.
Posted in Aaron Bady, Africa, books, Ethiopia, Literature, Maaza Mengiste
Tagged Aaron Bady, Africa, books, Ethiopia, literature, Maaza Mengiste
Sometimes we get a glimpse into history. Maaza Mengiste writes about a young Ethiopian boy, whose remains are kept in the United Kingdom. Attempts have been made to get his remains back to his country of origin. To no avail.
The next step in this story by Maaza Mengiste is present situation of refugees. She writes: “Yet there is nothing graceful about the overloaded boats heading towards Europe.” Indeed, nothing graceful (or is it an act of grace to have arrived in Europe or the United States?)
May I add:
There is nothing graceful about dictatorial regimes in Northern Africa.
There is nothing graceful about dictatorial regimes in the Near East.
There is nothing graceful about warring factions in Syria and Iraq.
There is nothing graceful about human traffickers.
There is nothing graceful about countries in the Islamic heartland who accept only a few refugees.
There is nothing graceful about refugee-camps in Jordan and Lebanon.
We need more grace, not just in Europe, but in other places as well.
I think it is a tricky business to compile a list with best books. An editor did not shy away from compiling just such a list. He made a threesome of best books on Ethiopia.
I have to admit I have read only one out of three, the one by Nega Mezlekia. So there is room to widen my reading horizon.
Posted in Abraham Verghese, Africa, books, Ethiopia, Literature, Maaza Mengiste, Nega Mezlekia
Tagged Abraham Verghese, Africa, books, Ethiopia, literature, Maaza Mengiste, Nega Mezlakia
The Ethiopia-rooted writer Maaza Mengiste draws attention to a book titled “Sudden Flowers”. The book contains many pictures shot in Ethiopia. Children who have met HIV/Aids are pictured. They have lost thier parents. Over many years Gottesman (= Man of God) travelled to Ethiopia to work on his project and involve the children in this project.
Today it has been announced by Words without Borders. This organisation wants to promote cultural understanding by publishing and translating international literature. On this blog I regularly refer to articles on the website of this non-profit organization.
To new boardmembers have been invited to join the board. One of them is Maaza Mengiste.
picture by New York Magazine