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The Guardian's Literary Editor Fetes Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw MengestuThe Beautiful Things That Heaven BearsChildren of the RevolutionAlert! When the New Yorker announced its 20-under-40 list of bright young writers to watch, the Guardian‘s literary editor, Claire Armitstead, was especially pleased.

For on the list, alongside such leading lights as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, was one Dinaw Mengestu, whose first book, Children of the Revolution won the Guardian First Book prize in 2007.

Mengestu, of course, became known to South Africans during his visit to the 2009 Time of the Writer in Durban – where he charmed one and all.

At the recent Guardian Hay Festival in Wales, Armitstead was overheard heaping praise on Mengestu’s book (published as The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears in the US), and expressing her delight that he had cracked another nod to join the big literary game.

Here’s Armitstead’s piece on the New Yorker‘s list:

Published in the UK as Children of the Revolution, the novel appeared in the US as The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears – somewhat bizarrely, given its downbeat subject matter.

Mengestu’s cast of braggarts and drifters look on helplessly as the yuppies move in on their deadbeat neighbourhood, gentrifying the houses while boycotting the mouldering cornershops.

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