The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Lecture - The Wife's Tale

Aida Edemariam in conversation with Chris Beckett

Thursday 23rd August 2018

7:00pm, Khalili Lecture Theatre, Main Building, SOAS, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG - Public lecture (all welcome)


Aida Edemariam's The Wife's Tale is the extraordinary story of an indomitable 95-year-old woman – and of the most extraordinary century in Ethiopia's history. A new Wild Swans.

Born a hundred years ago in Gondar, Yetemegnu was married to a man two decades her senior when she was only eight years old. Over the next century her world changed beyond recognition. She witnessed Fascist invasion and occupation, Allied bombardment, exile from her city, the rise and fall of Haile Selassie, revolution and civil war. She endured all these things alongside parenthood, widowhood and the death of children.

The Wife's Tale is an intimate memoir, both of a life and of a country. In prose steeped in Yetemegnu's distinctive voice and point of view, Aida Edemariam retells her grandmother's stories of a childhood surrounded by proud priests and soldiers, of her husband's imprisonment, of her fight for justice all of it played out against an ancient cycle of festivals and the rhythms of the seasons. She introduces us to a rich cast of characters emperors and empresses, scholars and nuns, Marxist revolutionaries and wartime double agents. And through these encounters she takes us deep into the landscape and culture of this many-layered, often mis-characterised country and the heart of one indomitable woman.

Aida will be in conversation with poet & AES trustee Chris Beckett. She will also read extracts from the book and answer questions from the floor.


Capacity at the venue is limited, so please reserve your place soon to avoid disappointment.

Eventbrite Tickets - The Wife's Tale - Aida Edemariam in conversation with Chris Beckett




First Published in News File Summer 2018

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