Usually ships next business day
Shipping options »
Member Price $21.56
List Price $26.95
Hardcover
In Stock
Order
The Shadow King

The Shadow King

Author Maaza Mengiste
Publisher W. W. Norton
Publication Date 2019-09-24
Section New Hardcover - Fiction
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780393083569

"A brilliant novel, lyrically lifting history towards myth. It's also compulsively readable. I devoured it in two days." —Salman Rushdie

With the threat of Mussolini’s army looming, recently orphaned Hirut struggles to adapt to her new life as a maid in Kidane and his wife Aster’s household. Kidane, an officer in Emperor Haile Selassie’s army, rushes to mobilize his strongest men before the Italians invade. His initial kindness to Hirut shifts into a flinty cruelty when she resists his advances, and Hirut finds herself tumbling into a new world of thefts and violations, of betrayals and overwhelming rage. Meanwhile, Mussolini’s technologically advanced army prepares for an easy victory. Hundreds of thousands of Italians―Jewish photographer Ettore among them―march on Ethiopia seeking adventure.

As the war begins in earnest, Hirut, Aster, and the other women long to do more than care for the wounded and bury the dead. When Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia quickly loses hope, it is Hirut who offers a plan to maintain morale. She helps disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor and soon becomes his guard, inspiring other women to take up arms against the Italians. But how could she have predicted her own personal war as a prisoner of one of Italy’s most vicious officers, who will force her to pose before Ettore’s camera?

What follows is a gorgeously crafted and unputdownable exploration of female power, with Hirut as the fierce, original, and brilliant voice at its heart. In incandescent, lyrical prose, Maaza Mengiste breathes life into complicated characters on both sides of the battle line, shaping a heartrending, indelible exploration of what it means to be a woman at war.

There are no customer reviews for this item yet.

Our Annual Frequent Buyer Sale

20% off in the store and on harvard.com on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3 for Frequent Buyer members!

Use coupon code FREQUENT2019 at
online checkout.

Learn More »

Signed by the Author

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »

Shipping & Delivery

Shipping rates
and options, locally
and throughout
the U.S.

Learn More »