Photo Credit: Amanueal Daba

Ethiopian author Mihret Sibhat’s debut novel The History of a Difficult Child, about “a girl child contending with familial & political upheaval in a small Ethiopian town in the 1980s,” will be published by Viking Press in 2022.

Publishers Makertplace reports that the novel was sold to Allison Lorentzen at Viking by Ayesha Pande at Ayesha Pande Literary Agency.

The book is described as “a tragicomic family saga set in a small Ethiopian town following the 1974 socialist revolution, told from the perspective of the youngest daughter of a large, formerly land-owning family, who contends with bullies, poverty, and a dictatorship with humor and a refusal to be silenced.”

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Born and raised in Ethiopia, Mihret Sibhat currently lives in the United States where she is an MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In 2019, she was announced as a fellow by A Public Space.

Sibhat shared the news on Facebook in a note expressing how lucky she felt to have the chance to have her work published.

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I’m so grateful for this huge milestone. And feeling incredibly lucky because I know there are so many talented souls with great stories out there whose works rarely make it this far for a number of reasons. I’m happy that all the things have added up in all the right ways to get me to this point, and I look forward to the next chapters, which are going to be challenging but which I know I will overcome because, among other things, I’m very lucky.

Brittle Paper congratulates Mihret Sibhat.