Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. The Series includes dark stories from the African metropolises Lagos and Nairobi, now the Ethiopian capital follows suit.
Brand-new stories by: Maaza Mengiste, Adam Reta, Mahtem Shiferraw, Linda Yohannes, Sulaiman Addonia, Meron Hadero, Mikael Awake, Lelissa Girma, Rebecca Fisseha, Solomon Hailemariam, Girma T. Fantaye, Teferi Nigussie Tafa, Hannah Giorgis, and Bewketu Seyoum.
From the introduction by Maaza Mengiste:
What marks life in Addis Ababa are the starkly different realities coexisting in one place. It’s a growing city taking shape beneath the fraught weight of history, myth, and memory. It is a heady mix. It can also be disorienting, and it is in this space that the stories of Addis Ababa Noir reside . . .
These are not gentle stories. They cross into forbidden territories and traverse the damaged terrain of the human heart. The characters in these pages are complicated, worthy of our judgment as much as they somehow manage to elude it. The writers have each discovered their own ways to get us to lean in while forcing us to grit our teeth as we draw closer . . .
Despite the varied and distinct voices in these pages, no single book can contain all of the wonderful, intriguing, vexing complexities of Addis Ababa. But what you will read are stories by some of Ethiopia’s most talented writers living in the country and abroad. Each of them considers the many ways that myth and truth and a country’s dark edges come together to create something wholly original—and unsettling.
Table of Contents
Part I: Past Hauntings
“Kind Stranger” by Meron Hadero (Lideta)
“A Double-Edged Inheritance” by Hannah Giorgis (Shiromeda)
“Ostrich” by Rebecca Fisseha (National Palace)
“Dust, Ash, Flight” by Maaza Mengiste (Mercato)
Part II: Translations of Grief
“Father Bread” by Mikael Awake (Kechené)
“The Blue Shadow” by Mahtem Shiferraw (Yerer Ber)
“A Night in Bela Sefer” by Sulaiman Addonia (Bela Sefer)
Part III: Madness Descends
“Insomnia” by Lelissa Girma (Haya Hulet)
“Of the Poet and the Café” by Girma T. Fantaye (Beherawi Theater)
“Under the Minibus Ceiling” by Bewketu Seyoum (Arat Kilo)
“Of Buns and Howls” by Adam Reta (Addis Ababa West)
Part IV: Police and Thieves
“Kebele ID” by Linda Yohannes (CMC)
“None of Your Business” by Solomon Hailemariam (French Legation)
“Agony of the Congested Heart” by Teferi Nigussie Tafa (Meskel Square)