Phoenix Literary Festival
Dates: November 15th at 5:00pm, November 16th at 11:00am
Location: Phillips Hall, Francis Auditorium
Maaza Mengiste, born in Ethiopia. In the mid-’70s, there was a revolution and an authoritarian dictatorship took over. She lived in Nigeria for a while, and then Kenya. When she was seven, her family moved to Colorado. She went to college thinking she would become a doctor. That’s every Ethiopian parent’s dream for their child. But as soon as she got there, she knew she couldn’t do it. She wanted to focus on reading and writing. When she called to say she was going to be an English major, her dad said, “But you already know English.” They didn’t get it. Her definition of success has changed. When she first started writing, success meant book sales or how much publicity her book got. Now, it’s really about the work.