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    Original Essays | September 15, 2014

    Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel

    There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears


The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Cover

ISBN13: 9781594482854
ISBN10: 1594482853
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $4.50!


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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

josue, January 27, 2013 (view all comments by josue)
This book was by far my favorite read in 2012. Dinaw's words describe things so vividly that it hurts sometimes. This beautiful story touches on many issues ranging from immigrant identities, the American dream, and gentrification.
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Marcus, April 27, 2009 (view all comments by Marcus)
A few months ago, I stumbled upon the uncorrected (limited publication) of this book. Rarely do I read a book a second time; in this case I did when the final copy came out. I loved it. The second time was even better.
It is an exceptional, beautifully crafted Novel. Unforgettable novel.
This story is written very well the characters are so vivid and lovable all with human flaws and strengths, which make them very real. They live within us with unfulfilled dreams and hopes.
The author has done an excellent job to keep the story going keeping you in suspense and wanting to know what happen to the characters.
I found it charming, delightful, sometimes funny, and always intriguing I couldn't put it down.
A book every immigrant can relate to. It is one of the best books I read in the last few years. A must read to people that appreciate quality literature.
Dinaw Mengestu's talent as a storyteller is shown in this first novel. I look forward and hope to read more from him in the future.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Shoshana, October 5, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
Some have said that this is a slow novel in which little happens. While I think these comments are true, they are not negative, and stopping there misses the point. Nor is it simply a story of the erosion of the immigrant's dream. Sepha Stephanos is not just an immigrant from Ethiopia who fled the war and didn't get the girl. The story is more subtle than that. Stephanos is paralyzed by memory and guilt. This guilt isn't just because of what he did and didn't do in Ethiopia or the U.S.; it is the guilt of a survivor, the guilt that makes simply being alive an almost unbearable burden. The circles of Washington, D.C.'s roads are the circles of Dante's hell (alluded to in the title). As in The Ministry of Pain, what nostalgia the immigrant can muster is impaired and tainted by the memories of war. Stephanos's flat guardedness is the point of his story, and perhaps his downfall as well.
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Product Details

Mengestu, Dinaw
Riverhead Books
Abani, Chris
Islam, Tanwi Nandini
Race relations
United states
Washington, d. c.
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 2008
Grade Level:
from 12
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » New Yorker 20 under 40
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594482854 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Barely suppressed despair and black wit infuse this beautifully observed debut from Ethiopian émigré Mengestu. Set over eight months in a gentrifying Washington, D.C., neighborhood in the 1970s, it captures an uptick in Ethiopian grocery store owner Sepha Stephanos's long-deferred hopes, as Judith, a white academic, fixes up the four-story house next to his apartment building, treats him to dinner and lets him steal a kiss. Just as unexpected is Sepha's friendship with Judith's biracial 11-year-old daughter, Naomi (one of the book's most vivid characters), over a copy of The Brothers Karamazov. Mengestu adds chiaroscuro with the story of Stephanos's 17-year exile from his family and country following his father's murder by revolutionary soldiers. After long days in the dusty, barely profitable shop, Sepha's two friends, Joseph from Congo and Kenneth from Kenya, joke with Sepha about African dictators and gently mock his romantic aspirations, while the neighborhood's loaded racial politics hang over Sepha and Judith's burgeoning relationship like a sword of Damocles. The novel's dirge-like tone may put off readers looking for the next Kite Runner, but Mengestu's assured prose and haunting set pieces (especially a series of letters from Stephanos's uncle to Jimmy Carter, pleading that he respect 'the deep friendship between our two countries') are heart-rending and indelible." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears is wonderfully written and moving. It gives personality and depth to the oft-mocked immigrant deli owner (Apu, anyone?) and draws a portrait of someone all readers can relate to. The story is carried by the wry humor of the observations that Stephanos and his friends make about life in America, and it's in those moments that Mengetsu does his best and most surprising work." (read the entire Esquire review)
"Review" by , "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears takes us effortlessly through impressive changes of theme and mood....This is a great African novel, a great Washington novel and a great American novel."
"Review" by , "Mengestu, himself an Ethiopian immigrant, engages the reader in a deftly drawn portrait of dreams in the face of harsh realities from the perspective of immigrants."
"Review" by , "Mengestu skirts immigrant-literature cliches and paints a beautiful portrait of a complex, conflicted man struggling with questions of love andloyalty. A nuanced slice of immigrant life."
"Review" by , "[A] poignant story providing food for thought for those concerned with poverty and immigration....Recommended."
"Review" by , "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears is not a conventional immigrant novel....Mengestu has something more ambitious and fundamentally unsettling in mind."
"Review" by , "[Mengestu's] straightforward language and his low-key voice combine to make a compelling narrative, one that loops back in time yet seems to move forward with an even pace."
"Review" by , "This novel...covers a lot of ground: race relations...and gentrification and what it means to leave your past behind as you look for a future."
"Review" by , "For anyone who's caught the gaze of a foreign-born waiter or cabdriver and wished for a deeper understanding of his half-glimpsed life, reading fiction is one way to crack open the dusty window that often separates us....[A] deeply felt novel that deserves to be read."
"Review" by , "Mengestu also has a sense of humor that is pitch perfect, falling between complete despair and pure sarcasm."
"Review" by , "Mengestu has told a rich and lyrical story of displacement and loneliness. I was profoundly moved by this tale of an Ethiopian immigrant’s search for acceptance, peace, and identity. Some of the passages in Ethiopia are heartbreaking and almost unbearably painful. With effortless prose, Mengestu makes us feel this tortured soul’s longings, regrets, and in the end, his dreams of meaningful human connection."
"Synopsis" by , 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 neighborhood, longing for his home continent. When a series of racial incidents disturbs the community, Sepha may lose everything all over again.
"Synopsis" by ,
A vibrant debut novel following one family and three young women coming of age in Brooklyn and Bangladesh

For as long as she can remember, Ella has longed to feel at home. Orphaned as a child after her parents murder in the aftermath of the Bangladesh Liberation War, Ella came to Brooklyn to live with the Saleem family: her uncle Anwar, aunt Hashi, and their daughter Charu, from whom she couldnt be more different. When Ella returns home from college one summer, she discovers Charus friend Maya—a local Islamic clerics runaway daughter—asleep in her bedroom. The two quickly grow close, blurring the line between friendship and love.

As the girls harbor their secrets, Anwar—owner of a popular apothecary—has his own, one that threatens his thirty-year marriage. When tragedy strikes and the Saleems are blamed, it nearly tears apart the family. Ella, Charu, Anwar, and Hashi travel to Bangladesh to reckon with the past, their extended family, and each other.

"Synopsis" by ,
Before he can retire, Las Vegas detective Salazar is determined to solve a recent spate of murders. When he encounters a pair of conjoined twins with a container of blood near their car, hes sure he has apprehended the killers, and enlists the help of Dr. Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in the study of psychopaths. As Sunil tries to crack the twins, the implications of his research grow darker. Haunted by his betrayal of loved ones back home during apartheid, he seeks solace in the love of Asia, a prostitute with hopes of escaping that life. But Sunils own troubled past is fast on his heels in the form of a would-be assassin.

Suspenseful through the last page, The Secret History of Las Vegas is Chris Abanis most accomplished work to date, with his trademark visionary prose and a striking compassion for the inner lives of outsiders.

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