Maaza Mengiste's Ethiopian war novel pays tribute to unsung women soldiers

Maaza Mengiste's The Shadow King brings to light Ethiopia's unsung women warriors.
Maaza Mengiste's The Shadow King brings to light Ethiopia's unsung women warriors.PHOTOS: W. W. NORTON & CO, NINA SUBIN

In the home stretch of writing her second novel, The Shadow King, author Maaza Mengiste and her mother returned to her birth country of Ethiopia for a 10-day road trip.

The Shadow King brings to light Ethiopia's unsung women warriors, who took on Mussolini's invading Italian army in 1935. Mengiste, 49, did not want to turn in her final draft without revisiting the land in which those she wrote about had fought, bled and died.

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