A novel resolves childhood memories of the Ethiopian revolutionby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Author Maaza Mengiste left Ethiopia for the U.S. when she was four years old. It was 1974, two years after the revolution which toppled Emperor Haile Selassie from his throne.
But the experience was so traumatic she has very clear memories of what happened.
"I remembered so vividly my life in Ethiopia, and I remember very specific moments and those stayed with me here," she said. "And as I grew older I started wanting to put them into context, to try to find a historical and political explanation for what I remembered."
So she wrote "Beneath the Lion's Gaze," a critically-acclaimed novel about a family living through the Ethiopian revolution. The story also tells of the last days of Hailie Selassie before his death in prison.
Maaza Mengiste, who now lives in New York, told Euan Kerr even though many people wanted the Emperor gone, his removal was traumatic.