Home > News > The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears:A Novel

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears:A Novel

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears: A Novel
Dinaw Mengestu
Riverhead Books: 230 pp., $22.95

Dinaw Mengestu belongs to that special group of American voices produced by global upheavals and intentional, if sometimes forced, migrations. These are the writer-immigrants coming here from Africa, East India, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Their struggles for identity mark a new turn within the ranks of American writers I like to call “the in-betweeners.” The most interesting work in American literature has often been done by such writers, their liminality and luminosity in American culture produced by changing national definitions (Twain, Kerouac, Ginsberg), by being the children of immigrants themselves (Bellow, Singer), by voluntary exile (Baldwin, Hemingway) and by trauma (Bambara, Morrison).

The new writer-immigrants are more uniquely caught between loyalties — to a home they are still linked to and involved in and to the lives they are committed to making here. It is a difficult negotiation and yet an amazing resource for works of exquisite frustration: hopeful, lonely, joyful and something else that cannot be named. These are writers who are making America their own but are also bringing the larger world into its streets, to borrow a phrase from Walter Mosley. This is the kind of writer Mengestu is, and “The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears” is the wrenching and important book he has made of this struggle.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Related Links

The Washington Post

Advertisements
Categories: News
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: