9780312269883

Notes from the Hyena's Belly : An Ethiopian Boyhood

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780312269883

  • ISBN10:

    0312269889

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2001-01-06
  • Publisher: Picador

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Summary

In this powerful memoir, Nega Mezlekia recalls in vivid detail his boyhood in the arid city of Jijiga, Ethiopia, and his bold journey to manhood during the 1970s and 1980s, his country's most turbulent period. In a narrative that sparkles with wit, Mezlekia traces his personal evolution from child to soldier. We meet Wondwossen, his best friend and collaborator in mischief; Mr. Alula, their embattled teacher; Mr. Tadesse, full-time school director and part-time poacher; Ms. Yetaferu, the Orthodox Christian boarder who manages to find a saint to worship each day of the year and thus to avoid gainful employment; and Yeneta, the local priest who is privy to the languages of heaven and hell. Mezlekia describes the hardships that consumed Ethiopia after the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie and the rise to power of the communist junta, whose merciless Red Terror slaughtered 100,000 Ethiopian youths.Mezlekia himself was forced, at the age of eighteen, to join a guerilla army, and had several brushes with death at the hands of reactionary exorcists, but he somehow survived the bloodbath. Notes from the Hyena's Belly teems with the smells, sights and sounds of life in the Horn of Africa-its violent, ingenious humans and its underworld of screeching monkeys, lions and hyenas.Part autobiography and part social history, this is an unforgettable portrait of a world where the boundaries of credulity are challenged daily.Out of this rich, sundrenched land where modern corruption rides ancient custom like a predator, Mezlekia crafts a world elegant in its aridity, extreme in its absurdity and vast in its ironies. AUTHORBIO: Nega Mezlekia left Ethiopia in 1983 with little more than the clothes he was wearing.A professional engineer with degrees from Addis Ababa University, University of Wageningen, the Netherlands, University of Waterloo and McGill University, he now lives in Toronto, where he is working on a novel.

Author Biography

Nega Mezlekia left Ethiopia in 1983 with little more than the clothes he was wearing. An engineer with degrees from Addis Ababa University and McGill University, he now lives in Toronto, where he is working on a novel.

Table of Contents

BOOK ONE: SUNRISE
Saints and Sinners
3(14)
The Language of the Angels
17(8)
Memories of Memerae's Shed
25(18)
Alula's Morality
43(46)
BOOK TWO: CLOUDS
Fekadu's World
89(12)
The Devil-Tamers
101(16)
The Exorcists
117(12)
Early to Fall
129(8)
Early to Rise
137(8)
Growing Passions
145(8)
Thrusting Brass
153(10)
A Reluctant Guerrilla
163(30)
BOOK THREE: STORM
Window on History
193(6)
The Power Brokers
199(8)
Jijiga Besieged
207(6)
A Moving Tale
213(4)
The Exodus
217(22)
Retiring Saints
239(32)
An Alien Adbar
271(12)
Seven Months of Darkness
283(20)
A Mournful Ghost
303(6)
An Enfeebled Sun
309(18)
Eclipse of the Star
327(10)
The Hyena's Tail
337(8)
A Brief Epilogue 345(8)
Acknowledgments 353(2)
Map 355

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