Thursday, February 6, 2014

Award-winning Ethiopian-American novelist and writer Dinaw Mengestu will present a free reading at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Frank Conroy Reading Room of the Glenn Schaeffer Library, adjacent to the Dey House.

Mengestu’s new novel, All Our Names, will be published in March. All Our Names is the story of two young men who come of age during an African revolution, drawn from the safe confines of the university campus into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, the friends are driven apart—one into the deepest peril, as the movement gathers inexorable force, and the other into the safety of exile in the American Midwest.

Mengestu is the author of two earlier novels, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air, and has written for Rolling Stone on the war in Darfur and for Jane Magazine on the conflict in northern Uganda. His writing has also appeared in Harper's, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. Since his first book was published in 2007, he has received numerous literary awards, and was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2012.

Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His family left Ethiopia during the war when he was 2 years old and immigrated to the United States. He was raised in Peoria, Ill. Mengestu received his Bachelor of Arts in English from Georgetown University, and his Master of Fine Arts in fiction from Columbia University. He is the Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics at Georgetown.

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a graduate program in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to attend this reading, call the Writers’ Workshop in advance at 319-335-0416.

For a UI arts calendar and details about upcoming events visit the Arts Iowa website.