MEDIA ALERT: Ethiopian novelist and Booker Prize finalist, Maaza Mengiste to deliver 8th Annual Pluralism Lecture


WHAT: Maaza Mengiste, award-winning author of The Shadow King, will deliver the 8th Annual Pluralism Lecture via livestream on May 19, 2021, about approaching difficult history in ways that can promote belonging over division.
Co-presented by the Global Centre for Pluralism and the University of British Columbia, this year’s lecture features an introduction by Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Global Centre for Pluralism Board Member, reflecting on how the pandemic has created an urgency for building respect, empathy, and a more equitable, just and prosperous future for all.
WHERE: Livestream can be viewed at:
WHEN: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
12:00 p.m. EDT
WHO: Ethiopian novelist and 2020 Booker Prize finalist, Maaza Mengiste
CONTACT: Calina Ellwand, Manager
Communications and Public Affairs
Global Centre for Pluralism
OPPORTUNITIES: Audience Q&A with Maaza Mengiste, hosted by Nahlah Ayed (CBC Ideas)
Media may submit questions in advance to
Lecture videos, transcript, and images available upon request

Maaza Mengiste
Maaza Mengiste, a critically acclaimed novelist and essayist, examines the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile. She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and lived in Nigeria and Kenya before moving to the United States. Mengiste’s debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze (2010), was named one of The Guardian’s 10 Best Contemporary African Books. Her latest novel, The Shadow King (2019), was called “one of the most beautiful novels of the year” by National Public Radio and was a 2020 Booker Prize finalist. Winner of the 2020 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Mengiste’s honours include the Creative Capital Award, a Fulbright Scholarship, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and Puterbaugh Festival of International Literature & Culture.

Global Centre for Pluralism
The Global Centre for Pluralism, founded by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada, works with policy leaders, educators and community builders around the world to amplify and implement the transformative power of pluralism.

University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning.