Maaza Mengiste’s second novel, The Shadow King, was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 2020 and bears all the hallmarks of the accolade. ‘Beautiful and devastating’ is Marlon James’ endorsement. What he means, we can assume, is that the writing is beautiful but its content devastating; the prose is vibrantly lyrical but the subject matter roams the darkest corners of conflict, something hard to reconcile with the word beautiful.
The Persian-Dutch writer Kader Abdolah was an opponent of the regimes of both the Shah and Ayatollah Khomeini, ultimately fleeing to the Netherlands as a political refugee in 1988. He has a degree in Physics, was Writer in Residence at Leiden University in 2006, and has written a large number of novels. The King (“De Read More