Dinaw Mengestu

Dir, Written Arts Program
Bard College

Dinaw Mengestu is an Ethiopian-American novelist who has garnered widespread critical acclaim for his intimate depictions of the immigrant experience in America. In his stories of Ethiopian immigrants, he brings to life the mental and emotional costs of straddling two cultural worlds. He is the author of three novels--The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, How to Read the Air, and All Our Names--and his fiction and journalism have been published in The New Yorker, Granta, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and the Wall Street Journal. Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978, and his family immigrated to the United States in 1980, settling in Illinois. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University’s MFA program in fiction, and has held positions at Georgetown University and Brooklyn College. In 2016, he was named the director of the Written Arts Program at Bard College. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

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Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.