A literary debut hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "a great American novel."
Finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction
Winner of the Guardian First Book Prize
New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the National Book Foundation's ?5 Under 35? Award
Recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship
Winner of the Prix du Premier Roman
Named the Seattle Reads Selection of 2008
Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent. Years ago and worlds away Sepha could never have imagined a life of such isolation. As his environment begins to change, hope comes in the form of a friendship with new neighbors Judith and Naomi, a white woman and her biracial daughter. But when a series of racial incidents disturbs the community, Sepha may lose everything all over again.