Ethiopia-born novelist to speak Saturday

By Josh Cooper

One of the country’s rising literary stars is coming to Jackson Hole.

Fiction author, professor and MacArthur fellow Dinaw Mengestu will be speaking at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Teton County Library’s Ordway Auditorium as part of the library’s “Writers in the Library” series. The event is free and open to the public.

Dinaw Mengestu poses for a portrait on Monday, September 17, 2012 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Dinaw Mengestu poses for a portrait on Monday, September 17, 2012 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but his family left the country amid war when he was 2. They moved to Peoria, Ill., and then to Oak Park Ill., when he was 9. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in fiction from Columbia University. He is Lannan Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and is the University of Wyoming’s current Eminent Writer in Residence.

His first book, “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears,” was published in 2007. His second, called “How to Read the Air,” was published in 2010. His latest effort, “All Our Names,” was released earlier this year.

He has recieved numerous awards, including a Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2008, a “20 Under 40” award from The New Yorker in 2010. and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 2012. Read more …

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