Notes From The Hyena's Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood

Paperback | January 1, 2002

byNega Mezlekia

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Winner of the Governor General's Award
A Library Journal Best Book of 2001

Part autobiography and part social history, Notes from the Hyena's Belly offers an unforgettable portrait of Ethiopia, and of Africa, during the 1970s and '80s, an era of civil war, widespread famine, and mass execution. "We children lived like the donkey," Mezlekia remembers, "careful not to wander off the beaten trail and end up in the hyena's belly." His memoir sheds light not only on the violence and disorder that beset his native country, but on the rich spiritual and cultural life of Ethiopia itself. Throughout, he portrays the careful divisions in dress, language, and culture between the Muslims and Christians of the Ethiopian landscape. Mezlekia also explores the struggle between western European interests and communist influences that caused the collapse of Ethiopia's social and political structure--and that forced him, at age 18, to join a guerrilla army. Through droughts, floods, imprisonment, and killing sprees at the hands of military juntas, Mezlekia survived, eventually emigrating to Canada. In Notes from the Hyena's Belly he bears witness to a time and place that few Westerners have understood.

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From the Publisher

Winner of the Governor General's AwardA Library Journal Best Book of 2001Part autobiography and part social history, Notes from the Hyena's Belly offers an unforgettable portrait of Ethiopia, and of Africa, during the 1970s and '80s, an era of civil war, widespread famine, and mass execution. "We children lived like the donkey," Mezlek...

Nega Mezlekia is the author of Notes from the Hyena's Belly, winner of the Governor General's Award, and a novel, The God Who Begat a Jackal. He left Ethiopia in 1983 and is now an engineer living in Toronto.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8.28 × 5.54 × 0.73 inPublished:January 1, 2002Publisher:Picador USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312289146

ISBN - 13:9780312289140

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Customer Reviews of Notes From The Hyena's Belly: An Ethiopian Boyhood

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Raw but gripping. Sometimes, when a really good book is finished, I get a bit depressed. When I had finished this book I felt so bad I went back to the beginning and started to read it over. It made me laugh and cry and brought to life a part of the world so remote from my own as to be like another planet.
Date published: 2007-10-12

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Editorial Reviews

He treats the chaos and famine that enveloped his country with seriousness and style--even while recounting famine and war, he never loses the wit that no doubt helped him to survive some of the worst humanity has to offer.