Mihret Adal Gidi is a young novelist based in Ethiopia. She recently authored her first book, ‘Bleeding Hearts of a Butterfly’. Published by Austin Macauley Publishers based in London, Mihret dedicated her maiden book to her single mother, Dikitu Eshetu, who she says instilled in her the love of reading at a young age. She reflects with Samuel Getachew of The Reporter on the book, what inspired it and where she hopes the legacy of it would be. Excerpts:
The Reporter: Tell me about the new book?
Mihret Adal Gidi: Thank you for the opportunity you have afforded me. My book is basically a fictional novel. It is an easy to read 200-page book that can be enjoyed by anyone. The story is presented in first person narration as well as in third person narration. Hopefully, readers would fine it both entertaining and enlightening. But if you are asking me to tell you more, I will not (laughs). You would have to purchase it and read it yourself. It’s available online, on e-book and is available in many stores throughout our nation. I am a first-time author and I am lucky to see it published by Austin Macauley Publishers in London. I hope it will inspire others to write and also read.
The book is about a young girl who faces many challenges, including family, love, confusion and friendship. It’s a twisted love story having exciting and thrilling plot points. It’s a story about a nubile girl who moved to Chicago and made new friends.
This is your first book and that is a great achievement to have. What made you decide to write a book at such a young age?
I wanted to be a writer at such a young age. It is a passion passed on from my mother, who is an avid reader of many books. I grew up hearing narrations from her readings. Growing up, I fell in love with reading and I used to read anything and anything at all; I believe every book conveys a message and that is what each book meant for me.
I also had mentors, such as my uncle (Kassye Yonhannis) who encouraged me to write and read at a young age. Remember, I grew up with my mother. She raised me on her own and as a single mother, she did an amazing job. However, it was important to have male mentors in my life and my uncle was that person. He became my mentor, reading my drafts and commenting and building from it. You know, it’s true when they say, parents and families are the first to witness their children dream. Anything they do or say makes the difference on a child’s life in the future. So, my first push came from my family.
When I was younger; in high school, I used to write short stories and once I reached grade eleven and twelve the habit escalated into fantasy stories. With my two childhood friends, we used to talk passionately about books. Whenever my teachers gave us writing assignments, we used it as an opportunity to improve our writing skills and be exposed to the writings of others.
Later on, once I became an English Language and Literature major, I knew that was where my heart was. I figured out that I was in love with literature. There, I met with amazing instructors that further opened my eyes; that someone like me could have a future in writing; and that I could garner enough confidence to publish such a book. Let me just add, mentorship is such an important gesture for such a new writer. For me, I want to pay a special tribute to Andualem Hadero Selfako for being my inspiration as well as for taking the time to evaluate my first draft and Melkamu Yazachew for help me with editing it. I am now in the process of writing short stories.
If you can afford me a chance, I want to address the need of mentorship to young people in the nation. You know, there are few. I want people who have made it and move on a bit further, to be indebted to those who are not. Always be a mentor for others, especially, those that have little and have little opportunities afforded to them. That way, we can do our part as citizens of Ethiopia.
Read more at: The Reporter