The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Review - Children of the Revolution

Dinaw Mengestu

Reviewer - Anne Parsons

Children of the Revolution is the tale of three African immigrants in Washington DC: Ethiopian Sepha Stephanos, the narrator who fled Addis Ababa shortly after the start of the ‘red terror’, and his two friends, Joe from Zaire and Kenneth from Kenya. Central to the novel is Sepha’s relationship with Judith, a white American academic and her 11-year-old daughter Naomi.

We learn only a little about what it is to be specifically Ethiopian, but so much about what it feels like to leave one’s homeland and start life anew in a foreign country – and the feeling of being trapped in limbo between two worlds. Children of the Revolution is a wonderfully crafted and beautifully written novel. It won the Guardian First Book Award in 2007 and I thoroughly recommend it.

Children of the Revolution by Dinaw Mengistu, published by Vintage, London, May 2008.
240 pages.
Paperback ISBN: 9780099502739
Price £7.99

First Published in News File Winter 2008

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