I am a bit disappointed…

…by Dinaw Mengestu’s new book. Most of his stories explore the immigrant or second-generation experience in America, typically Ethiopians. His recent New Yorker short story was terrifically engaging. His Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears was one of my favorite books of 2008. The characters were deeply quirky, and you cared about them. I’m a third of the way through his new novel and, in comparison, the characters seem  bland.

Even so, Mengestu is still one of the best American writers I think we should all watch. I will give the third novel a try.