Maaza Mengiste on telling lost stories: 'Archives are not innocent'

Maaza Mengiste on telling lost stories: 'Archives are not innocent'

By Financial Times

FT Weekend

Friday, 4 December

Maaza Mengiste is one of the FT's Women of the Year, and author of the epic historical novel The Shadow King. Her book, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, is about the Italian invasion of Ethiopia at the start of WWII. It asks massive questions about how history is remembered, recorded and retold. Maaza and Lilah talk about collective memory, women warriors, decolonising the archives and who will tell the stories of 2020. It's full of wisdom. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll take notes. Plus: Alice Fishburn, editor of FT Weekend Magazine, drops by to discuss the novel, our Women of the Year issue, and commissioning in a pandemic. We love hearing your thoughts! Email us at Message Lilah on Instagram or Twitter @lilahrap, and the podcast @ftculturecall.


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–Explore the FT Women of 2020 issue (paywall)

–A Big Read on the crisis in Ethiopia (FT) and a Twitter thread from Maaza on the humanitarian disaster

–What's going on currently in Armenia (Politico) and a history of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh (Jacobin)

Project 3541, Maaza's online archive of the 1935-41 Italo-Ethiopian war

–An essay by Maaza on losing her father

–Maaza's book recommendations: Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah, Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez and Trieste by Dasa Drndic

–Alice mentioned two FT Magazine stories: The next pandemic: where is it coming from and how do we stop it? and Siri Hustvedt: ‘I think of the sirens as New York’s heartbreaking music’ 

–Alice's book recommendation: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

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