How to Read the Air (Google eBook)

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Penguin, Oct 14, 2010 - Fiction - 320 pages
29 Reviews
From the prizewinning international literary star: the searing and powerful story of one man's search for redemption.

Dinaw Mengestu's first novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, earned the young writer comparisons to Bellow, Fitzgerald, and Naipaul, and garnered ecstatic critical praise and awards around the world for its haunting depiction of the immigrant experience. Now Mengestu enriches the themes that defined his debut with a heartbreaking literary masterwork about love, family, and the power of imagination, which confirms his reputation as one of the brightest talents of his generation.

One early September afternoon, Yosef and Mariam, young Ethiopian immigrants who have spent all but their first year of marriage apart, set off on a road trip from their new home in Peoria, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee, in search of a new identity as an American couple. Soon, their son, Jonas, will be born in Illinois. Thirty years later, Yosef has died, and Jonas needs to make sense of the volatile generational and cultural ties that have forged him. How can he envision his future without knowing what has come before? Leaving behind his marriage and job in New York, Jonas sets out to retrace his mother and father's trip and weave together a family history that will take him from the war-torn Ethiopia of his parents' youth to his life in the America of today, a story—real or invented—that holds the possibility of reconciliation and redemption.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Limelite - LibraryThing

Melancholic, elegiacal, and burdened by sorrow, this novel is a long good-bye to marriage between two couples -- the parents' and the son's marriages -- when people are mismatched and scarred by their ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

This is an excellent psychological study of a man in his attempt to comprehend himself and find his own identity. The plot shifts from his parent's to his marriage's story, reminiscent of the way the ... Read full review

Contents

PARTI
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII
PART II
XIV
XV
XVI
XVII
XVIII
XIX
XX
XXI

IX
X
XI
XII
XIII
PART III
XXII
XXIII
XXIV
XXV
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. 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. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.

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