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Maaza Mengiste. Photo credit: Shevaun Williams.

Each anthology in Akashic Books’ noir series is “set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city” and includes new fiction by writers from the country. Last year, the series published Lagos Noir, for Nigeria, edited by Chris Abani and featuring work by Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, E.C. Osondu, Jude Dibia, Chika Unigwe, A. Igoni Barrett, and Leye Adenle, among others. Lagos Noir was reviewed here by Tendai Huchu. This year, the series has announced its next anthology: Addis Ababa Noir, edited by the Ethiopian novelist Maaza Mengiste.

At 256 pages, the book, to be published on August 4, 2020, features fiction by Mengiste, Sillerman Prize winner and Brittle Paper Award for Poetry 2018 finalist Mahtem Shiferraw, Silence Is My Mother Tongue author Sulaiman Addonia, The Atlantic staff writer Hannah Giorgis, Caine Prize 2019 finalist Meron Hadero, Brittle Paper contributor Linda Yohannes, Mikael Awake, Lelissa Girma, Rebecca Fisseha, Solomon Hailemariam, Girma Fantaye, Teferi Nigussie Tafa, Adam Reta, and Bewketu Seyoum.

Here is a description by Akashic Books:

Addis Ababa (simply “Addis” to locals), considered by some to be the original home of humankind, is a sprawling melting pot of cultures where rich and poor live side by side in relative harmony—until they don’t. Maaza Mengiste’s award-winning fiction and nonfiction have consistently reflected the lives of Ethiopia’s everyday people, against the backdrop of migration, war, and exile. Here, in this masterfully edited collection showcasing the country’s finest literary talent, Mengiste brings this same razor-sharp sensibility to her city of birth, pulling back the curtain on despair and depravity, offering an intimate glimpse into the raw, beating heart of Addis Ababa.

The writer, whose new novel The Shadow King is garnering acclaim, tweeted the news.

Born in Addis Ababa, Mengiste is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Creative Capital. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the ten best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor and Boston Globe, among others. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Granta, The Guardian, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and BBC. She was a writer on the documentary projects Girl Rising and The Invisible City: Kakuma. Her second novel, The Shadow King, was published in September 2019.

Go here for more information on Addis Ababa Noir.

Correction: Based on new information, this post has been updated to reflect a new publication date of August 4, 2020. The article previously stated April 2020.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Afternoon Bites: Abi Andrews, Helen McClory’s Latest, Maaza Mengiste, John Giorno Remembered, and More – Vol. 1 Brooklyn - October 14, 2019

    […] Coming in 2020: the Maaza Mengiste-edited anthology Addis Abba Noir. […]

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