by Dinaw Mengestu - £8.99 Vintage (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099502739 | ISBN 10: 0099502739
Seventeen years after fleeing the revolutionary Ethiopia that claimed his father's life, Sepha Stephanos is a man caught between two existences: the one he left behind aged nineteen, and the new life he has forged in Washington DC.
Sepha spends his days in a sort of limbo: quietly running his grocery store into the ground, revisting the Russian classics, and toasting the old days with his friends Kenneth and Joseph, themselves emigrants from Africa.
But when a white woman named Judith moves next door with her only daughter, Naomi, Sepha's life seems on the verge of change...
"A quietly accompluished debut novel...he bestows an immense dignity, never sentimentalising their plight. Despite, or perhaps because of, the attritions of his years in exile, Sepha has remained astonishingly tender. In the end, it is this human warmth that triumphs."
(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)
In booklists: World Fiction - Ethiopia, World Fiction - Africa, Writers by Surname - M, Fiction - Black American and Canadian Writers, In categories: Fiction, World - Africa, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,