The Wife's Tale: A Personal History

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Product Details

Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.2 X 0.9 X 8.0 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

Aida Edemariam, whose father is Ethiopian and mother Canadian, grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She studied English literature at Oxford University and the University of Toronto, and has worked as a journalist in New York, Toronto, and London. She is now a senior feature writer and editor for the Guardian, writing on everything from books to politics and the aircraft industry. She lives in Oxford.


"Edemariam anchors the book in these mundane rhythms, setting them against a vividly realized landscape...Political turmoil sweeps in like a dream...The book elegantly collapses the distance between the vast and the intimate, showing how history reaches even the most sheltered."--New Yorker
"[Through] hauntingly beautiful recollections...Edemariam manages to reel us into a particularly gripping personal history, one that reveals the unassailable spirit of one woman."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"THE WIFE'S TALE is the extraordinary memoir of a woman who lived through the cataclysmic events that shaped modern Ethiopian history. The narrative, which is lovingly and expertly put together by her granddaughter, is a window into a world that would otherwise be invisible to us."--Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
"An ambitious, elegantly descriptive... profoundly lyrical narrative...Edemariam's book offers a glimpse into a singularly fascinating culture and history as it celebrates the courage, resilience, and grace of an extraordinary woman. A richly evocative tale of family and international history."--Kirkus Reviews
"An intriguing depiction of a remarkable life."--Library Journal
"A rich portrait of her grandmother's full life...through lyrical prose interspersed with poetry, prayers, and legends...Readers will appreciate Edemariam's work--part memoir, part history--for its personal look at an eventful century in Ethiopia."--Booklist
"THE WIFE'S TALE is a remarkable achievement: meticulously researched, finely wrought and deeply felt, it is the story of one woman's life lived, not so much against the backdrop of history, but in the midst of it. Edemariam's grandmother succeeded in building a life out of very little, except her enduring, quiet courage."--Aminatta Forna, author of THE DEVIL THAT DANCED ON WATER