The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Club - ONLINE - The Lost Spell

Yismake Worku, translated by Bethlehem Attfield

Wednesday 20th July 2022

Online event starting at 19:00 BST - Public event (all welcome to join).

Note - Register for the event on Eventbrite and you'll be emailed a Zoom link shortly before the event.


For this book club we're going to discuss The Lost Spell (የክብር ድንጋይ) by Yismake Worku, translated by Bethlehem Attfield.

Didimos Dore has turned himself into a dog. Unable to remember the spell to turn him back, he must journey home to Addis Ababa; to a wife and children who suspect nothing of his dabbling in the occult.

The proud, respectable businessman tries to keep himself at the centre of his world, despite his sudden lowly status. As he scampers fearfully through bustling towns and awe inspiring landscapes, he sees Ethiopian history and politics from a new perspective. With a mixture of self-importance and compassion, Dore sees his literal dehumanisation echoed in the state of the nation around him. Yet through a series of hapless, sometimes funny schemes, he must seek out human kindness to survive.

Yismake Worku is an innovative, bestselling Ethiopian novelist. He was acclaimed for his courageous and keen observation of the 2012 political scene, following the death of Meles Zenawi, in the Amharic original published in 2013. The Lost Spell weaves the legends of Ethiopia into a contemporary cautionary tale about the transformative power of words.

Bethlehem Attfield is an Amharic-English literary translator, born in Addis Ababa. She specialises in translating contemporary Ethiopian fiction. She founded the Ethiopian Translators Network and hosts the YouTube podcast Journey To Ethiopia with Story. She is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Birmingham University.


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 Lost Spell by Yismake Worku



The Lost Spell cover The Lost Spell by Yismake Worku, translated by Bethlehem Attfield.

Publisher : Henningham Family Press, 31 January 2022

ISBN : 9781916218628 (paperback)
UK price £12.99

First Published in News File Spring 2022

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