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Winter Sojourn Author Study

Shadow King

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Conference Room or Virtually via Zoom
"Beautiful, horrifying, elegant, and haunted, The Shadow King is a modern classic." — Andrew Sean Greer

About the Book 

Mengiste (Beneath the Lion's Gaze) again brings heart and authenticity to a slice of Ethiopian history, this time focusing on the Italian invasion of her birth country in 1935. While Hirut, a servant girl, and her trajectory to becoming a fierce soldier defending her country are the nexus of the story, the author elucidates the landscape of war by focusing on individuals--offering the viewpoints (among others) of Carlo Fucelli, a sadistic colonel in Mussolini's army; Ettore Navarra, a Jewish Venetian photographer/soldier tasked with documenting war atrocities; and Haile Selassie, the emperor bearing the weight of his country's devastation at the hand of the Italians. In Hirut, Mengiste depicts both a servant girl's low status and the ferocity of her spirit-inspired by the author's great-grandmother who sued her father for his gun so she could enlist in the Ethiopian army — which allows her to survive betrayal by the married couple she serves and her eventual imprisonment by Fucelli, captured with horrifying detail by Navarra's camera. Mengiste breaks new ground in this evocative, mesmerizing account of the role of women during wartime — not just as caregivers, but as bold warriors defending their country.  — Publisher's Weekly

About the Winter Sojourn Author Study

A series of book discussions in anticipation of Winter Sojourn, a special edition of Literary Sojourn. The shared magic of Bud Werner Library's signature literary festival resides in an intimate, personal exchange between authors and fellow book lovers, and that's exactly the spirit we're re-kindling in the Strings Pavilion on January 22, 2022. The winter festival will be filled with the rollicking storytelling of four rock-star authors: Maaza Mengiste, Mary Roach, Vendela Vida and Master of Ceremonies Jess Walter. Tickets for Winter Sojourn will go on sale mid-October. Sign up for Sojourn News our Winter Sojourn website in order to receive updates. You'll also find reading lists, author bios and more.

About the Club 

The Lunchtime Book Club meets once a month and is facilitated by Bud Werner Library's Circulation Services Manager, Michelle Dover. Open to anyone interested in participating, this club meets during lunch and is designed to be inclusive, supportive and meet the needs and interests of the group. No need to attend all of the discussions, just pick the ones that interest you! The group is limited to 15 participants per meeting. Sign up at the circulation desk, call 879-0240, or use the registration button at the top of this page.