Maaza Mengiste Nominated for The World’s Top Book Award

Maaza Mengiste, The Booker Prize

The Booker Prizes has shortlisted the novel of Ethiopian-American author Maaza Mengiste, The Shadow King, among the six finalists to win the world-leading literary award.

The judges of the prize have picked the six finalists recently from the 13 longlisted authors to honor the finest English language fiction of 2020.

During the announcement on its website, the awarding body noted that Maaza ‘s second novel “The Shadow King” shows the role of the rarely credited women soldiers during the 1935 Italian invasion of Ethiopia.

“[The books in the shortlist] show where a novel is right now in 2020 and it will give a pretty good idea where it might go in the future, ” said one of the judges of the Prize, Lee Child during the announcement.

The writer who was born in Addis Ababa, spent her childhood in Kenya, Nigeria, and the U.S. after her family left the country when she was four due to political instability in Ethiopia during the Derg regime.

Currently living in the U.S Maaza was the 2020 American Academy of Arts and Letters, Literature Award Winner.

In addition, Maaza’s debut novel Beneath The Lion’s Gaze, the story of an Ethiopian family in the 1970s struggling to survive the stormy Ethiopian revolution, was named among one of the ten best contemporary African books by The Guardian and translated into seven languages.

Established in 1969, the Booker prize, honors original novels written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom and Ireland every year. 

This year, the winning author will be awarded a £50,000 prize in November.