MacArthur Fellow in TorontoPublished Posted on | By TZTA News
Author and journalist Dinaw Mengestu speaking at a reception in Toronto. Mengestu was in Canada on a three-city speaking tour discussing African Diaspora Literature.
Award-winning U.S. author and journalist Dinaw Mengestu wrapped up a three-city visit to Canada in Toronto this week. A recipient of a hallowed MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, Mengestu writes of African Diaspora in the U.S. as well as conflicts in Africa. He has several novels under his belt and his writing has appeared in publications as well, including Rolling Stone, Harperâs and The New Yorker.
While in Toronto, Mengestu spoke with various members of the cityâs media, including campus radio CIUT at the University of Toronto and the African Diaspora weekly television show Planet Africa. During the interviews he spoke of moving from his birthplace in Ethiopia to the American Midwest at age two and what it was like to be the only Ethiopian family in town as well as his experiences when he travelled back to Addis Ababa 25 years later.
The final stop during his time in Canada was at a reception at the U.S. Consul General in Torontoâs residence. Here he gave a talk of how he found his way in the very difficult world of writing and how he incorporates both his American and Ethiopian sides into every piece he writes as the two are indivisible â a feeling many immigrants share. Several dozen members of Torontoâs African-descent and literary community were on hand for his lively talk and laughed at his anecdotes and were enraptured while he read from one of his novels, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.
ListenÂ to Dinaw Mengestu read from his novel.Â ListenÂ to a Q & A podcast with him.