Performance Publishing

The Lost Spell by Yismake Worku (tr. Bethlehem Attfield)

March 29th, 2022 | Posted by David in


A dog-on-the-road view of contemporary Ethiopia that is at once a critique and a bittersweet love letter.” Asymptote

393 in stock

SKU: 9781916218628 Categories: ,


Didimos Dore has turned himself into a dog. Unable to remember the spell to turn him back, he must journey home to Addis Ababa; to a wife and children who suspect nothing of his dabbling in the occult.

The proud, respectable businessman tries to keep himself at the centre of his world, despite his sudden lowly status. As he scampers fearfully through bustling towns and awe inspiring landscapes, he sees Ethiopian history and politics from a new perspective. With a mixture of self-importance and compassion, Dore sees his literal dehumanisation echoed in the state of the nation around him. Yet through a series of hapless, sometimes funny schemes, he must seek out human kindness to survive.

Yismake Worku is an innovative, bestselling Ethiopian novelist. He was acclaimed for his courageous and keen observation of the 2012 political scene in the Amharic original. The Lost Spell weaves the legends of Ethiopia into a contemporary cautionary tale about the transformative power of words.

Bethlehem Attfield is an Amharic-English literary translator, born in Addis Ababa. She specialises in translating contemporary Ethiopian fiction. She founded the Ethiopian Translators Network and hosts the YouTube podcast Journey To Ethiopia with Story. She is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Birmingham University.

Additional information

Weight 0.34 kg
Dimensions 18 × 13 × 2 cm


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