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Visiting Writers Series Hosts Maaza Mengiste

Headshot of Maaza Mengiste

Please join the Visiting Writers Series in hosting Maaza Mengiste. The reading will be followed by a conversation and Q&A with MFA prose faculty member, Sabina Murray.

Maaza Mengiste is the author of the novels, The Shadow King and Beneath the Lion's Gaze.  The Shadow King was a New York Times' Notable Book, one of TIME's 100 Must-Read Books, and a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in Fiction in 2019. It is currently shortlisted for The Booker Prize. Beneath the Lion's Gaze was selected by The Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books. 

Writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books, Francesca Capossela described Mengiste's The Shadow King as "A beautiful and thoughtful epic, the book celebrates the role of women in the Ethiopian resistance, illuminating how (as Mengiste writes in her author’s note) “[t]he story of war has always been a masculine story, but this was not true for Ethiopia and it has never been that way in any form of struggle.”

Maaza is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, the Premio il ponte/Bridge Prize, and fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, and LiteraturHaus Zurich. Her work can be found in The New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and BBC, among other places. 

The nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series at UMass Amherst presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The Series is sponsored by the MFA for Poets and Writers and the Juniper Initiative. It is made possible by support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Arts Council, the English Department, and our generous alumni. All Fall 2020 readings are virtual, free, and open to the public. To register for this reading visit the UMass Amherst MFA's Visiting Writers Series page. You can RSVP on Facebook.