Books: Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

Books: Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

Beneath the Lion’s GazeMaaza Mengiste (2010) An important novel, rich in compassion for its anguished characters."— The New York Times Book Review

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Beneath the Lion’s GazeMaaza Mengiste (2010)
An important novel, rich in compassion for its anguished characters.”—
The New York Times Book Review

Beneath-the-Lion-s-Gaze

This memorable, heartbreaking story is set in the years of red terror following the violent communist revolution in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974. Yonas kneels in his mother’s prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. Mengiste’s novel follows the lives of two brothers and their father: Dawit, the student revolutionary, his elder brother, Yonas, who seeks solace in tradition and prayer, and their father, Hailu, a surgeon who is summoned to save the life of a young woman who has been horrifically tortured by the secret police. His task is to heal her just enough to send her back to prison. The choices he makes will change the course of the family’s lifeAnd Dawit, Hailu’s youngest son, has joined an underground resistance movement—a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia.

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze tells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction. It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping, poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath The Lion’s Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.

Set in the years of the red terror (the period of upheaval following the violent communist revolution in Ethiopia) in the 1970s, Mengiste’s novel follows the lives of two brothers and their father: Dawit, the student revolutionary, his elder brother, Yonas, who seeks solace in tradition and prayer, and their father, Hailu, a surgeon who is summoned to save the life of a young woman who has been horrifically tortured by the secret police. His task is to heal her just enough to send her back to prison. The choices he makes will change the course of the family’s life

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