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The Shadow King: A Novel


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About the Author

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Maaza Mengiste received a 2020 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Also a Fulbright Scholar and a professor at Queens College, she is the author of The Shadow King and Beneath the Lion's Gaze, and a 2018 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She lives in New York City.


"Lyrical, remarkable." -- New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice
"Capacious.... adopts the register of myth to shape an epic of nationhood and resistance." -- The New Yorker
"Unforgettable.... [A] propulsive read that captures a historical moment from a fresh perspective." -- Time
"[The Shadow King] is written in a key of pride and exaltation, and its characters have the outsize form of national heroes.... Stirring." -- Sam Sacks - Wall Street Journal
"In haunting and beautiful prose, Mengiste shines a light on those whose lives are not often heralded." -- Newsweek
"Ambitious and illuminating." -- Elizabeth Sile - Real Simple
"A beautiful and thoughtful epic." -- Francesca Capossela - Los Angeles Review of Books
"Stunning.... [Mengiste] produced a work of fiction that is epic in reach, with brilliant borrowings from the forms of classic tragedy.... The book is impossible to put down or put out of mind." -- BookPage (starred review)
"The Shadow King exposes a brutal chapter in Ethiopia's history and urges readers to listen for the untold stories of war, especially those of women." -- Katie Noah Gibson - Shelf Awareness
"Monumental.... Mengiste's extraordinary characters-shrewd Kidane, militant Aster, the enigmatic cook, narcissistic Italian commander Fucelli, conflicted photographer Ettore, elusive prostitute Fifi, even haunted Selassie-epitomize the impossibly intricate ties between humanity and monstrosity, and the unthinkable, immeasurable cost of survival." -- Booklist (starred review)

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