On Switzerland’s Mount Pilatus, a Writer Remembers

The New York Times Style Magazine –  May 12, 2022
Maaza Mengiste’s childhood trip to the mountain didn’t go well. Upon returning decades later, she gains a new understanding of her mother’s life — and her own.



The Dream of Oscar Isaac

Esquire – March 30, 2022

In which the star of Moon Knight survives a hurricane, floats in a warm ocean, lives in a model home, makes movies, wanders into his old apartment, wears tie-dye, trips on mushrooms, hosts SNL, stars in Star Wars, and creates art that gets at the rich and baffling complexity of the human experience. But not necessarily in that order.



Maaza Mengiste: Intervening in Colonial Archives

Berlin, 8 December 2021

Maaza Mengiste in conversation with Singaporean artist Sim Chi Yin, who has developed a research-based practice that excavates historical moments, looking at the continuing effects of the past on the present.

Kamoinge’s Collective Vision: Emily Raboteau, a conversation with Maaza Mengiste and Rachel Eliza Griffiths

The New York Review – February 6, 2021
Three writer-photographers discuss the legacy and continuity of the photography workshop founded during the Black Arts Movement’s heyday.

Ethiopia’s Long War

London Review of Books – February 4, 2021
Maaza Mengiste writes about Ethiopia’s current conflict, memory, and what happens when a country struggles to reconcile with its recent, traumatic past.

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah review – living through colonialism

The Guardian – September 30, 2020
This compelling novel focuses on those enduring German rule in East Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century

From Homer to Alexievich: top 10 books about the human cost of war

The Guardian – January 29, 2020
The novelist explains how literature illuminates soldiers’ experience, and how it helped her depict the women who fought Mussolini in Ethiopia

Writing About the Forgotten Black Women of the Italo-Ethiopian War

Literary Hub – September 24, 2019
Maaza Mengiste on Gender, Warfare, and Women’s Bodies


In Ethiopia’s Highlands, a Search for Hope and Horror

The Wall Street Journal — August 20, 2019
While researching battle scenes in Ethiopia, novelist Maaza Mengiste finds stubborn hopefulness in the ancient rock churches of Lalibela.

This is What the Journey Does

In The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Living — Abrams Books, 2018
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen called on 17 fellow refugee writers from across the globe to shed light on their experiences.


Foreword to Vintage Addis Ababa

Ayaana Publishing, 2018
The book explores facets of a bygone era hidden from mainstream history. It presents an intimate cross-section of life in Ethiopia’s capital through 242 images and their accompanying stories.

I Want My Work to Exist in the Memories of People

Anxy Magazine, (3) 2018
Boundaries shape the way we live, love and work—but what do our boundaries say about who we are underneath? This issue looks at personal space from the inside out.

Primo Levi at the United Nations: Maaza Mengiste

Primo Levi Center, Printed_Matter,
(6 May) 2016
Printed Matter is Centro Primo Levi’s online monthly dedicated to the work of Primo Levi, Italian Jewish history, culture, and current affairs.


Unheard-of Things

The Massachusetts Review, (57:1) 2016
The Massachusetts Review, a literary magazine, promotes social justice and equality, along with great art. In this issue: A Gathering in Honor of Chinua Achebe.

Fiction Tells a Truth That History Cannot

Guernica, (2 Nov) 2015
Maaza Mengiste on Breyten Breytenbach in Guernica, a non-profit magazine dedicated to global art and politics, published online since 2004.

Sudden Flowers

The New Yorker, (4 Feb) 2015
In 1999, Eric Gottesman travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to photograph the experiences of children orphaned by aids. Sudden Flowers is the collective that he formed with an original group of six children.


The Madonna of the Sea

Granta, (30 Jan) 2012
Maaza Mengiste for Granta’s Winter 2012 edition: Exit Strategies; on the Madonna at the bottom of the crystalline waters off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy.

Vanishing Virgil

Granta, (15 Nov) 2011
Maaza Mengiste for Granta’s Autumn 2011 edition: Horror.