Beneath The Lion’s Gaze By Maaza Mengiste
In Beneath The Lion’s Gaze, we are immediately taken into a nation at war with itself and its citizens by Maaza Mengiste. Chaotic and unpredictable, the burden on the shoulders of the ordinary people is of immense magnitude and has the ability to rip the nation apart.
Set during the Ethiopian Revolution of 1974, Beneath The Lion’s Gaze is an exceptionally accomplished debut novel which evokes a colossal of emotions as we experience it through Dr Hailu and his family. We relive the troubled days with Hailu, his dying wife and two sons, daughter-in-law and grand-daughter, their friends and neighbours as they struggle to survive their personal challenges and live through the turmoil in the country. Poetically written with vivid descriptions, this novel will live you thinking about the human will to survive in the face of adversity without hope.
Mengiste’s ability to skilfully weave emotionally delicate times during this ghastly period of Ethiopia’s existence through this work of fiction is both brilliant and overwhelmingly powerful. You are forced to feel empathy for the thousands of people who suffered during the revolution without knowing them and ask why it was allowed to happen in the first instance.
About The Author: Maaza was born in Ethiopia in and graduated from New York University with an MFA in Creative Writing. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze is her first novel and she lives in New York.
Beneath the Lion’s Gaze is published by Jonathan Cape