How to Read the Air

Front Cover
Riverhead Books, 2011 - Fiction - 305 pages
27 Reviews

A "beautifully written"* (New York Times Book Review) novel of redemption by a prize-winning international literary star.

From the acclaimed author of The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears comes a heartbreaking literary masterwork about love, family, and the power of imagination.

Following the death of his father Yosef, Jonas Woldemariam feels compelled to make sense of the volatile generational and cultural ties that have forged him. Leaving behind his marriage and job in New York, he sets out to retrace his mother and father's honeymoon as young Ethiopian immigrants and weave together a family history that will take him from the war-torn country of his parents' youth to a brighter vision of his life in America today. In so doing, he crafts a story- real or invented-that holds the possibility of reconciliation and redemption.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
6
4 stars
13
3 stars
5
2 stars
2
1 star
1

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  - klburnside - LibraryThing

I don't usually require a lot of action in a novel for me to enjoy it, but this book was far too slow. Nothing happened. I was bored the entire time. The writing was overly introspective. Every action ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

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.

Bibliographic information