In addition to three novels, he has written for Rolling Stone on the war in Darfur, and for Jane Magazine on the conflict in northern Uganda. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and was named a “20 under 40” writer to watch by The New Yorker.Mengestu’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, Granta, and other publications. Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. Dinaw Mengestu’s second novel, How to Read the Air, is frustratingly hard to get into, despite being the brand new book by a young writer whom many people seem to love. From the prizewinning international literary star: the searing and powerful story of one man's search for redemption. How to Read the Air Dinaw Mengestu. The summary provided on the back cover and above is as misleading as it is incomplete.

The first is a rare vacation for immigrants Josef and his pregnant wife Mariam, who were virtually strangers when they married in war-torn Ethiopia and who endured unthinkable odds to reunite in America. Unfortunately, between the slow plot and the flat characterization, there was very little to draw me into this story, and even less to keep me hanging on.

The novel chronicles two disintegrating relationships, as experienced by African immigrants to the United States and their children. While the story features two road trips, identical in itinerary and divergent in purpose, they merely serve as an awkward framework on which to hang Mengestu… His writing has also appeared in Harper's, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications.He is the Program Director of Written Arts at Bard College. As a … How to Read the Air chronicles a trip from Peoria, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee—distinct only in how prosaic and particularly American it is—taken by two generations of a troubled family. He had learned early in his life that before any violent gesture there is a moment when the act is born, not as something that can be seen or felt, but by the change it precipitates in the air.” ― Dinaw Mengestu, How to Read the Air How To Read The Air is not a great novel, but it is a good one.

How to Read the Air is about failed relationships and imperfect people, and about the lasting effect of relationships on identities—for better or worse. Dinaw Mengestu (born 30 June 1978) is an Ethiopian-American novelist and writer.

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