Spotlight of the week – Maaza Mengiste

April 22, 2022

Maaza Mengiste is a world-renowned Ethiopian author, novelist, essayist, and photographer. Her iconic works were selected as the best book of the year by the New York Times, NPR, Elle, Time, and more. The Guardian has chosen her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, as one of the best contemporary African books. Booker and LA Times Book Prize Fiction have shortlisted her brilliant novel, The Shadow King, as a finalist fiction. Among the numerous awards received by Maaza, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Fellowship, a Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Award, and Creative Capital awards are prestigious recognitions to her remarkable job.

Besides writing and publishing extraordinary novels, Maaza writes articles about specific events using more than great words to describe the situation. Her articles span mainly around hidden stories of Ethiopian women and show what it’s like to be them through her descriptive phrases. In her article, Foreword to Vintage Addis Ababa, she explores the faces hidden from the mainstream history n Ethiopia’s capital through 242 images and the stories behind them. Maaza shares the feeling of being a refugee writer across the world and how being displaced affected their journey. She delves deep into shedding light on peoples’ experiences to show the hardship of being displaced physically and emotionally.

Maaza recently published a breath-taking poem, The Dream of Oscar Isaac, published by Esquire on April/May ’22. They’ve It was a profile as pure poetry and a masterwork that many have praised for its captivating piece of art. She portrayed Oscar Isaac as “the star of #MoonKnight survives a hurricane, lives in a model home, trips on mushrooms, and creates art that gets at the rich complexity of the human experience.”

Her writings are exceptional and waiting to be discovered by many. We applaud Maaza for taking her time with her powerful words to relate with hidden women.

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