Excerpt from Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Beneath the Lion's Gaze

A Novel

By Maaza Mengiste

Beneath the Lion's Gaze
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 2010,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2011,
    384 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


It was only Almaz who’d recognized the vivid flush of the girl’s face, the faint hint of bitter almonds, and known what had happened. She’d walked in just as Hailu was explaining to the soldiers how the electric shocks she’d received had damaged her internally.

“Oh,” she said. “Yes,” she collected herself. “It was too much for her. Too much infection.”

The soldiers had been agitated. “We reported she’d be back in a few days. People are expecting her,” one said.

“I’ll explain it all in the death certificate,” Hailu reassured them.

But Hailu had been summoned to jail, only one day after filing the report. His presence was requested in writing, delivered to his office by a skinny soldier with firm steps.

“Arrive by dawn,” the soldier said. “The Colonel starts early.”

“What’s this about?” Hailu looked at the inked signature at the bottom of the letter and tried to imagine the type of man whose hand moved across the page with such jagged sweeps of the pen.

The soldier stared at him and Hailu felt a shiver crawl up his spine. His light brown eyes were crisscrossed with red veins. “It’s just to talk.”

Hailu tried not to think about the fact that no one ever returned from a summons to jail. “Should I pack a suitcase?” Most prisoners were ordered to bring a suitcase under pretext that they’d be released.

“It’s unnecessary,” the soldier said. “Tomorrow,” he added before leaving.

Now, Hailu stared into the dark in his living room, his back straight as a tree, and waited, though for what, he wasn’t sure.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste. Copyright © 2010 by Maaza Mengiste. Excerpted by permission of Norton. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  163The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.