Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengiste stands beside the forklift of her new book The Shadow King. She signed three forklifts of her book. Photo: Twitter/MaazaMengiste
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Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengiste hand signs three forklifts of her new book The Shadow King

Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengiste has signed three forklifts of her latest book The Shadow King. The Shadow King is her second book, and it took her nearly four hours and three pens to sign the books.

The Shadow King, Maaza Mengiste’s second book is here. The Ethiopian writer who has lived in Kenya and Nigeria at different times in her life hand signed three forklifts worth of her new book. According to her tweet, it took her nearly four hours and three pens to sign the books.

Maaza’s book published by W.W. Norton & Company, “follows a gorgeously crafted and unputdownable exploration of female power, with Hirut as the fierce, original, and brilliant voice at its heart. In incandescent, lyrical prose, Maaza Mengiste breathes life into complicated characters on both sides of the battle line, shaping a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war”.

Maaza’s first book Beneath the Lion’s Gaze was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books. “Maaza’s fiction and nonfiction examines the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and considers the intersections of photography and violence,” her bio reads.

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The Shadow King has been described by Booker of Bookers Prize winner Salman Rushdie as a “brilliant novel, lyrically lifting history towards myth. It’s also compulsively readable. I devoured it in two days”.

At the signing of her books, Maaza appreciated those who are unseen in the book business. She said, “It takes a village and, in this case, it takes a warehouse. I had a chance to meet some of the fantastic people who make sure your books get to you.” She further said, “Many of the people who work in this warehouse have lived in the area their whole lives. They were born there and their families can trace generations to the area. They take pride in the work they do. This is their livelihood. They are the other side of the book business”.

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