Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent. Years ago and worlds away Sepha could never have imagined a life of such isolation. As his environment begins to change, hope comes in the form of a friendship with new neighbors Judith and Naomi, a white woman and her biracial daughter. But when a series of racial incidents disturbs the community, Sepha may lose everything all over again.
Watch a QuickTime interview with Dinaw Mengestu about this book.
About the Author
Dinaw Mengestu is the author of "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears", a "Los Angeles Times" bestseller and Seattle Reads pick of 2008, as well as the forthcoming novel "How To Read the Air". He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. In 1980, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the Red Terror. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University s MFA program in fiction and the recipient of a 2006 fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 5 Under 35 Award from the National Book Foundation in 2007. He has written for "Rolling Stone" and "Harper's", among other publications. He now lives in Washington, D.C.