The History of a Difficult ChildMihret Sibhat
An exhilarating and tragicomic debut novel about the indomitable child of a scorned, formerly land-owning family in the wake of Ethiopia's socialist revolution. 'Extraordinary' Maaza Mengiste 'Exhilarating' Elif Batuman Selam is the youngest child in a large turbulent family. Even before she is born, her omniscience animates life in a Small Town in 1980s southwestern Ethiopia. Selam and her father listen to the radio in secret as the socialist military junta that recently overthrew the government seizes properties and wages civil war in the North. The Asmelashes, once an enterprising, land-owning family, are ostracized under the new regime. In the Small Town where they live, nosy women convene around coffee ceremonies multiple times a day, the gossip spreading like wildfire. As Selam's mother, the powerful and relentlessly dignified Degitu, grows ill, she embraces a persecuted, Pentecostal God and insists her family convert alongside her. The Asmelashes stand solidly in opposition to the times, and Selam grows up seeking revenge on despotic comrades, neighbourhood bullies, and a ruthless God. Wise beyond her years yet thoroughly naive, she contends with an inner fury, a profound sadness, and a throbbing, unstoppable pursuit of education, freedom, and love. The History of a Difficult Child is about what happens when mother, God, and country are at odds, and how one difficult child finds her voice.
Paperback / softback Trade paperback (UK) (Text (eye-readable)) 400pp h234mm x w154mm x s36mm 480g Trade paperback (UK)