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The Shadow King

A beautiful yet chilling novel that challenges us to recognize the human cost and experience of war.

Guided by the author,

With the author,

Maaza Mengiste

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Guided by the authors,

Maaza Mengiste

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<club-desc-paragraph>The perils of war are vast but for a recently orphaned Hirut, there is no time to waste in trying to join the fray. As she slowly adjusts to life on her own, she finds the world around her devolving into chaos and she must uncover the power within her to fight back - for herself and her country. Her actions lead her to a dangerous and violent fate, but in the process, she inspires her fellow Ethiopian women to rise up. Listen as Maaza Mengiste shares the background on how she developed such a fierce and brilliant heroine, and how she spent 9 years intimately crafting the brilliant story she brought to life in The Shadow King.<club-desc-paragraph>

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<club-landing-h3>Background<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Maaza takes us through her background, from working in advertising to being a film executive to becoming a celebrated author. She also gives readers an insightful view into the research journey for her novel, The Shadow King.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Photography As a Weapon of War<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Maaza discusses the theme of photography - how it played a huge role in her writing process and how it was also used as a recruitment tool and propaganda tool in the actual Italo-Ethiophian war.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>The Power of Language<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Maaza explains the how she reveres the power of language and how she made very intentional decisions to represent that, such as the sparse use of quotation marks and the thinking behind certain character’s names.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Women Warriors<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Maaza speaks about the women warriors who fought in the Italo-Ethiopian war, the fierce female characters in her book, and how communities are affected when these strong women go off to war.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>Unlikely Inspiration From the Greeks and the Ghosts<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Maaza discusses her inspiration from Greek literature, her nod to Greek tragedies in The Shadow King, and how Ethiopian troubadours share stories and folklore through generations.<club-landing-paragraph>

<club-landing-h3>The Writer's Process<club-landing-h3>

<club-landing-paragraph>Maaza discusses her nine-year journey writing The Shadow King, how she wrote the novel by hand, and shares advice to writers struggling to finish their work.<club-landing-paragraph>

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