Beneath the Lion's Gaze

Beneath the Lion's Gaze Cover

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

By Maaza Mengiste

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393071764, 308pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2010

This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother's prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctioned torture to die. And Dawit, Hailu's youngest son, has joined an underground resistance movement a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia. Beneath the Lion's Gaze tells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction. It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping, poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath The Lion's Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.

About the Author
Maaza Mengiste, a Pushcart Prize nominee, was named "New Literary Idol" by New York Magazine. Her work has appeared in the Baltimore Review and Ninth Letter, and has been translated and published into German and Romanian for Lettre International.

Sunday, Feb 14, 2010

In Maaza Mengiste's first novel, Beneath The Lion's Gaze, she tells the story of a nation at war with itself. Mengiste was born in Ethiopia during the early days of the revolution, which, in 1974, brought down the country's 3,000-year-old monarchy. More at

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.