” A rich and lyrical story… I was profoundly moved by this tale… With effortless prose, Mengestu makes us feel this tortured soul’s longings, regrets, and in the end, his dreams of meaningful human connection.”
KHALED HOSSEINI, THE KITE RUNNER
CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION
A Debut Novel. Published by Jonathan Cape 23rd May. Paperback Original £12.99
Children of the Revolution is a haunting and potent debut novel. Mengestu writes with powerful understatement of one man’s longing for the American dream, and of the tenacious grip of the past across continents and time.
Every Tuesday evening, three friends meet in the back room of Sepha Stephanos’s bedraggled Logan Circle convenience store to drink, give advice and wax philosophical about Africa, their mother continent. The trio “Ken the Kenyan,” “Joe from the Congo” and Sepha, who was so skinny he didn’t need a nickname to remind them that he was Ethiopian met as young hotel clerks when they first arrived in Washington, D.C., but since then, they have taken different paths. Joseph and Kenneth graduated from Georgetown and went on to get higher degrees and well-paying jobs, while Sepha attended community college and then opened his store. As an upscale clientele moves into the predominantly lower-class African-American neighborhood, Sepha’s business dwindles. When a white woman named Judith moves next door with her mixed-race daughter Naomi, Sepha’s life seems on the verge of change. His fragile relationship with them gives him a painful glimpse into the life he could have lived and for which he still holds out hope…
“A tender, thoughtful novel” People
“With humour that is pitch perfect… Mengestu has made and made well, a novel that is a retelling of the immigrant experience” LA Times