Dinaw Mengestu

April 29, 2022

All Our Names (Knopf, 2014), How To Read the Air (Riverhead, 2010), and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead, 2010) are Dinaw Mengestu’s three books, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books (Riverhead, 2007). Mengestu is an Ethiopian native who moved to the United States with his family when he was two years old. He is also a freelance writer who has covered Darfur, northern Uganda, and eastern Congo. His work has appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Jane, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and the winner of the Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

He has received a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, the National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards. In 2010, he was also named on The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” list. “You can’t turn the pages fast enough, and when you’re done, your first impulse is to go back to the beginning and start over,” the New York Times Book Review wrote on the cover of All Our Names. While race, ethnicity, and place of origin certainly appear frequently in Mengestu’s work, they are only the raw ingredients with which he so deftly—but never didactically—kindles disruptive, distressing stories probing the human condition.

Dinaw Mengestu is among ten artists honored in the Fiction category of The Guggenheim Foundation fellow program. It’s expected that Dinaw Mengestu will receive up to $43,000. Meaza Mengiste is also one of these selectees to receive the fellowship award. We are so happy for our literature jewels. We don’t hesitate they will keep rising above in the sector.

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