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Prize-winning international literary star, Dinaw Mengestu, to visit Library

March 26, 2014

Jackson, WY-  Teton County Library is proud to host author Dinaw Mengestu on Saturday, April 26 at 7 pm in the Ordway Auditorium as part of its Writers at the Library series. With his third novel, All Our Names, published this month to wide acclaim, Mengestu’s star continues to the rise. Mengestu’s earlier novels: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2008) and How to Read the Air (2010) were both New York Times “Notable Books.”

In a glowing review in the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Malcom Jones writes, “Mengestu began this exploration with his dazzling first novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, and extended it in How to Read the Air. Good as they were, those books now look like warm-up acts. For with All Our Names, he has grounded his search in a story so straightforward but at the same time so mysterious that you can’t turn the pages fast enough, and when you’re done, your first impulse is to go back to the beginning and start over.”

The library’s special after-hours event offers the Jackson Hole community an opportunity to experience the work of one of the nation’s most talked about young writers. Mengestu will read from All Our Names and entertain questions from the audience. Valley Bookstore will be on site, as well, selling copies of Mengestu’s three novels; the author will be available to sign books in the library gallery after his presentation. (Attendees are asked to use the gallery entrance by the parking lot, since the library will be otherwise closed to the public.)

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. In 1980, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the Red Terror. A graduate of Georgetown University (where he now holds a professorship) and Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction, and the recipient of a 2006 fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Mengestu has written for Rolling Stone, among other publications. He was chosen for the 5 under 35 Award by the National Book Foundation in 2007 and named on The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list in 2010. He was also selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2012. Though he lives in New York City, Mengestu is the University of Wyoming’s current Eminent Writer in Residence.

The program is free and open to the community with support from donations, large and small, to the Teton County Library Foundation.


Teton County Library is the community's open door to a world of opportunity and fulfillment through resources, programs and services that connect, inspire and educate.

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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3269

Fax: 307-766-3189


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