Dinaw Mengestu Biography
Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. In 1980 he immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled the communist revolution in Ethiopia two years before.
He is a graduate of Georgetown University and of Columbia University's MFA program in fiction. He is the recipient of a 2006 fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
He has also reported stories for Harper's and Jane magazine, profiling a young woman who was kidnapped and forced to become a soldier in the brutal war in Uganda, and for Rolling Stone on the tragedy in Darfur.
His first novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2007), was named a New York Times Notable Book and awarded the Guardian First Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, among numerous other honors.
He was the Lannan Visiting Writer at Georgetown University for spring 2007 and received a "5 under 35" Award from the National Book Foundation.
His second book, How to Read the Air, was published in 2010.
After spending a number of years in New York, he now lives with his wife and son in Paris.
This biography was last updated on 08/21/2010.
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