John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of the Humanities; Director, Written Arts Program
Primary Academic Program: Written Arts
Biography:Dinaw Mengestu is the author of three novels, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books: All Our Names (Knopf, 2014), How To Read the Air (Riverhead, 2010), and The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead, 2007). A native of Ethiopia who came with his family to the United States at the age of two, Mengestu is also a freelance journalist who has reported about life in Darfur, northern Uganda, and eastern Congo. His articles and fiction have appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Jane, and Rolling Stone. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Fiction, National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, Guardian First Book Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors. He was also included in The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list in 2010. In its cover page review of All Our Names, the New York Times Book Review said “You can’t turn the pages fast enough, and when you’re done, your first impulse is to go back to the beginning and start over . . . While questions of race, ethnicity, and point of origin do crop up repeatedly in Mengestu’s fiction, they are merely his raw materials, the fuel with which he so artfully—but never didactically—kindles disruptive, disturbing stories exploring the puzzles of identity, place, and human connection.” BA, Georgetown University; MFA, Columbia University. At Bard since 2016.
Location: Shafer House