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Download All Our Names Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample All Our Names, by Dinaw Mengestu Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dinaw Mengestu Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld, Korey Jackson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From Dinaw Mengestu, a recipient of the National Book Foundation’s 5 under 35 Award, the New Yorker’s 20 under 40 Award, and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, comes a novel about exile, and the loneliness and fragmentation of lives that straddle countries and histories.

All Our Names is the story of a young man who comes of age during an African revolution, drawn from the hushed halls of his university into the intensifying clamor of the streets outside. But as the line between idealism and violence becomes increasingly blurred, and the path of revolution leads to almost certain destruction, he leaves behind his country and friends for America. There, pretending to be an exchange student, he falls in love with a social worker and settles into the routines of small-town life. Yet this idyll is inescapably darkened by the secrets of his past: the acts he committed and the work he left unfinished. Most of all, he is haunted by the charismatic leader who first guided him to revolution and then sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom. Subtle, intelligent, and quietly devastating, All Our Names is a novel about identity, about the names we are given and the names we earn. The emotional power of Mengestu's work is indelible.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “While questions of race, ethnicity, and point of origin do crop up repeatedly in Mengestu’s fiction, they are merely his raw materials, the fuel with which he so artfully—but never didactically—kindles disruptive, disturbing stories exploring the puzzles of identity, place, and human connection…The victories in this beautiful novel are hard fought and hard won, but won they are, and they are durable.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Mengestu portrays the intersection of cultures experienced by the immigrant with unsettling perception…He evokes contrasting landscapes but focuses on his characters—Isaac, the saddened visionary; Isaac, the secretive refugee; Helen, the sympathetic lover—who are all caught in a cycle of connection and disruption, engagement and abandonment, hope and disillusion.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review, Pick of the Week)

  • “Elegiac, moving…Mengestu is alert to the nuances of what transplantation and exile can do to the spirit…As in a V.S. Naipaul story, neither the country nor the time matter much in a tale about human universals, in this case the universal longing for justice and our seemingly universal inability to achieve it without becoming unjust ourselves…Another superb story by Mengestu, who is among the best novelists now at work in America.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The author highlights the dense slums of Kampala with the same intensity as he does the flatness of his midwestern farm town. But Mengestu is less interested in photographing a particular historical moment than he is fascinated by the dangers each setting imposes upon his vulnerable protagonists and their fragile relationships. And in the end, despite the bleak settings, tenderness somehow triumphs.”

    Booklist

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, March 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book
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About the Author
Author Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, a fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He was also named a “20 under 40” writer to watch by the New Yorker. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Harper’s, Granta, and other publications. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.