Book Club Pick o' the Month

West End Library

Book Club Pick o' the Month

'The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears' by Dinaw Mengestu

The West End Fiction Book Club will meet Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 12:30 p.m. to discuss The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu, in celebration of DC Reads ("One Book.  One City.  One Good Read"). Copies are available at the library. Please pick one up and join us!


Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian revolution for a new start in the United States.  Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalogia and longing for his home continent. Years ago and worlds away, Sepha could never have imagined a life of such isolation. As his neighborhood begins to change, hope comes in the form of a friendship with new neighbors Judith and Naomi, a white woman and her biracial daughter. But when a series of racial incidents disturbs the neighborhood, Sepha may lose everything all over again. 

About the author:

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1978.  In 1980, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and sister, joining his father, who had fled Ethiopia during the Red Terror.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University's MFA program in fiction and the recipient of a 2006 fellowship in fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  He lives in New York City.

    Image of book cover for "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears"