The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Club - ONLINE - The Shadow King

Maaza Mengiste

Wednesday 27th May 2020

Online Event using Zoom starting at 19:00 BST.

Rescheduled from 24 March 2020, and changed to an online event. Book via Eventbrite.

The Society's book club will discuss Maaza Mengiste's The Shadow King.

The Shadow King is set in Ethiopia starting in 1935. The threat of Mussolini's army is looming. Recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid. Her new employer, Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie's army, rushes to mobilise his strongest men before the Italians invade.

Hirut and the other women long to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. She helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms. But how could she have predicted her own personal war, still to come, as a prisoner of one of Italy's most vicious officers?

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa. She held a Fulbright Scholarship and now teaches Creative Writing & Literary Translation in the MFA Program at Queens College, City University of New York.
The bookclub read her previous novel, Beneath the Lion's Gaze, in August 2013.

Book a place using Eventbrite in order to be sent a link to the session. More registration details are on the Eventbrite page.

Eventbrite Tickets - The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste - Book Club


The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste.
Publisher : Canongate Books, 2020
ISBN : 9781838851163 (hardback)
Also available as an ebook and as an audio book.

First Published in News File Spring 2020

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