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.
Introducing #AddisAbaba Noir, coming to you August 2020 by @AkashicBooks. Featuring some of the most talented #Ethiopian writers from within the country & abroad, edited by me. Mark the date, watch this space for more updates. #Ethiopia #literature #fiction pic.twitter.com/cJuSDemkoF
— Maaza Mengiste (@MaazaMengiste) October 9, 2019
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.