"Ethiopia's 1974 revolution tears a family in half in this striking debut. Mengiste is as adept at crafting emotionally delicate moments as she is deft at portraying the tense and grim historical material, while her judicious sprinkling of lyricism imbues this novel with a vivid atmosphere.That the novel subjects the reader to the same feelings of hopelessness and despair that its characters grapple with is a grand testament to Mengiste's talent." (Publisher's Weekly
"An arresting, powerful novel that works on both personal and political levels." (Kirkus
"Lucid and compelling... Beneath the Lion's Gaze
is an extraordinary novel, which assembles a dauntingly broad cast of characters and, through them, tells stories that nobody can want to hear, in such a way that we cannot stop listening. Although set more than thirty years ago, Mengiste's novel is timely and vital. Its illumination of a world unfamiliar to most shows us how individuals will fight to retain their humanity in the face of atrocity." (Claire Messud Bookforum
"Beneath the Lion's Gaze
is an important novel, rich in compassion for its anguished characters" (Lorraine Adams New York Times Book Review
"Both brilliant and overwhelmingly powerful" (Belinda Otas New African Woman
An epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia's revolution.