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Om författaren

Nega Mezlekia is the author of Notes from the Hyena's Belly, a New York Times Editor's Choice and winner of the Governor General's Award. He left Ethiopia in 1983 and is now an engineer living in Toronto

Verk av Nega Mezlekia

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Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (2007) — Bidragsgivare — 24 exemplar


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"The main difference between war and peace used to be that in war the fathers buried their sons, while in peace the sons buried their fathers. The revolution redefined war and peace. I buried my father while I watched the Grim Reaper over my shoulder, making the roll call. "

This book follows the author's life growing up in Ethiopia. From a relatively happy childhood to school to imprisonment to revolution to imprisonment and torture to an attempt to escape the suffering to university and trying to support his family. All interweaved with beautiful folk tales which I loved and I definitely feel contributed to the book greatly.

This is not an easy book to read. Not because of the writing style - the author is very talented and the words are easy to follow- but because of what the book contains. A lot of content warnings related to torture, abuse, imprisonment, war, etc.. The author went through a lot, including being tortured in prison for speaking up for his beliefs (and he wasn't the only one swept up in this time of his life). There was preventable famine with people dying because of the government's greed. Teenage forced to fight a war against invaders. And yet, the love he feels from his country still shines through all the pain. He had hope for a better future with less fear and pain and violence.

This is definitely not a book I would recommend to everyone. It is a heartbreaking and difficult read. But if you can stomach the pain and sadness, you are in for a (rather depressing) treat. This is beautiful in the saddest way and is definitely a book that will touch you and stay with you after you turn the final page.
… (mer)
TheAceOfPages | 3 andra recensioner | Jan 29, 2023 |
This story is told in a combination of typical narrative but mostly a heavy dose of folktale epic. Don't expect much in the way of character growth, because that's not the purpose of the book. However, the gorgeous writing and dense worldbuilding carried me through and still made me invest in the characters. I loved the mythic hyperbole and how well balanced it was to seem absurd at times but still make sense in the context of the story.
hissingpotatoes | 2 andra recensioner | Dec 28, 2021 |
“Notes from the Hyena’s Belly: Memories of my Ethiopian Boyhood” (translated in Dutch as “De Buik van de Hyena”) was written by Nega Mezlekia and published in 2000. The author was born in 1958, the same year I was born myself, and the beginning of the book is very much a childhood as I had it, in a middle-class family, relatively protected, a schoolboy being naughty, pulling off all sorts of pranks, frequently being expelled from the class room: I recognize that. Yet, there are obviously a lot of things I don’t recognize, my teacher didn’t beat me senseless, I wasn’t subjected to witchcraft to drive out the devil, but mostly, I didn’t live in an Ethiopia with such a violent history, the things that come after Mr Mezlekia’s childhood. A very readable book, which becomes increasingly disturbing the further one gets, after the death of the Emperor Haille Salassie, and during the increasingly arbitrary years of political upheaval in this huge, complex and diversified country.… (mer)
theonearmedcrab | 3 andra recensioner | May 16, 2016 |
There is a lot to this book. At the heart of the story is Count Ashenafi; his daughter Aster and the society they live in. Aster is unusual and is cloistered away by her father. When she falls in love with one of her guards (a family slave) trouble follows. In the late 18th century Ethiopia was a mess of feuding warlords; religious conflict and the serfs and slaves were questioning the status quo. Mezlekia takes all this and creates an epic of forbidden love; civil conflict; touches of the supernatural and good story telling. I really enjoyed this book, I liked the characters and the setting. Sometimes the story seems a bit sprawling but overall a good read.… (mer)
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calm | 2 andra recensioner | Dec 30, 2010 |



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