My name is Nathan Haddish Mogos. I was born in 1982 to Eritrean parents in the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I attended the acclaimed Boy’s Catholic School up until tenth grade when the border war broke out between Eritrea and Ethiopia in 1998.
My family was deported and I, along with my three sisters and parents, settled in the city of Asmara where I went on to complete my higher studies at the University of Asmara. I obtained a B.A. in English.
Eventually, I sought asylum and resettled in Norway in 2009. I currently reside in the city of Tromsø where I work as an interpreter. My goal is to become a full time writer.
When did I first know that I wanted to be a writer?
I always had this wild restless imagination growing up. The art of storytelling was constantly honed and practiced subconsciously while making up crazy stories to entertain my friends and myself in my young days. Yet with the relentless effort of my parents, especially my mother I was introduced into the art of reading. Soon I was entrapped, with Hardy Boys and such to which I constantly experimented on my own, the alternative endings I was not satisfied with. Eventually when I joined the University of Asmara, it was not a surprise that I was studying English and Literature. I was constantly regurgitating my observations, my frustrations and my vision and fantasy on every piece of paper I could find, in Amharic and English. However it was later in life that I gradually developed the hobby into a career.
My recent book
My first work of fiction Mottak: An African Tale of Immigration and Asylum, was released though DAP – Diaspora Africa Press earlier this year. The ebook version is available on Amazon.com. The translated Norwegian version was published last year (2014) through Z forlag. The book is a realistic depiction of the experiences that African Asylum seekers go through in European asylum reception centers. The story blends the lively dialogues of an all African cast of characters with the dark monologues of the protagonist. It reveals all the intense dark recessive thoughts and the daily little pleasures of refugee life. For many asylum seekers, their lives are put on hold.
My second novel depicts life in Eritrea narrated from all sorts of angles, from the young to the old, the patriotic Pan-Africanist to the westernized materialist, from the deprived to the privileged. It will be published later this year. I am currently working on my third novel, which mostly reflects upon the endless apprenticeship of a struggling writer’s journey.
What do I do in my spare time?
I used to be a very spontaneously active person getting involved in everything, everywhere. But now that I have mellowed down, I spend quite a lot of time reading especially when the sun goes down. During my spare day time I socialize once in a while, watch movies and of course watch football. I am a die hard Gunner. I also regularly work out at the gym to balance the the flexing of my imaginative muscle with the body.
My favorite writers?
I admire Sebhat Gebre-Egziyabher for his liberating picturesque depiction of the inner city life, Ben Okri for capturing the beauty in poverty through his time and space defying magical realism, Dambudzo Marechera for his timeless poetic regurgitation of the Afro Diaspora psyche, Aldous Huxley for his meticulous fusion of philosophic dialogues and extravagant vocabulary, Vladmir Nabokov for his flawless original expressive narrations and Knut Hamsun for his dark intense expression of his inner voice
My favorite book by an African Writer?
It would be Cemetery of Mind by Dambudza Marecera. It had a profound effect on me leafing through his intense poetic delivery, page after page of his poetry collection I never really got tired of. The raw intensity encapsulated by his flawless diction is timeless. He is out there with the best of them.
Something interesting about myself
I have held several professions along the years in half a dozen countries I have been blessed and cursed to migrate to. English teacher, soldier in a heavy artillery brigade as part of my national service, salesman, tourist guide, sales and promotion, waiter, bakery and food packaging, delivery man, storage and mail distribution depot, janitor, catering assistant, intern journalist and interpreter and translator right until I realized my dream as a published author. One might ponder the reason behind my endless job migration. Perhaps, it is a sign of instability but mostly it has been by choice(okay I admit some enforced ) to spice up and nurture the restless wild artistic imagination, in absorbing life from all parameters that would be reflected upon my writing afterwards