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A New Beginning (Novel by Tsegaye Wodajo)

New beginning - novel by Ethiopian writer

Brief Description of the Novel 

Set in America and Ethiopia during the 1970s and 1980s, this story revolves  around a young man who leaves Asmara, then within Ethiopia, for the United States to embark an MBA. About a year into his studies, he gets caught up in his newly found love  in the new land. Burdened with memories of past events, and caught between the longing  for his fiancée Saba whom he left at home and his budding romance in America, Belay  Dinku, the novel’s protagonist, also experiences significant cultural divides between his  culture and that of America’s. 

Interspersed with amusing but also heart-wrenching stories rooted in the distant  memories of this character, the novel juxtaposes everyday life and love occurrences in  Ethiopia, a country then in revolutionary turmoil, with those in America, land of the free.  The work offers not only a glimpse of the tragic state of affairs of a people under dictatorship, but also explores love, separation, betrayal, and rekindled romance. Against  the backdrop of America where a knock on the door is rarely anything other than a  delivery, the story portrays a society, where fear and death knocked on everybody’s door  all in the name of revolution. 

Tsegaye Wodajo 

tsegaye.wodajo@bcc.cuny.edu 

Tsegaye Wodajo, PhD., is Professor in the Department of English at Bronx Community  College/CUNY. He is the author of Hope in the Midst of Despair: A Novelist’s Cures for Africa, AWP (2004).

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