47 pages 1 hour read

Dinaw Mengestu

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2007

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Chapters 11-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary

Sepha remembers when he first came to America and lived with his uncle in his apartment. After two months, his uncle helped him get a job at the Capitol Hotel. His uncle performed for the bosses and called them “sir,” but when he was alone with Sepha, he cursed these same bosses. Sepha soon quit the hotel job and moved out of his uncle’s apartment. He got an apartment in Logan Circle and, at Kenneth’s insistence, opened his own convenience store. Kenneth and Joseph took part in the naming and opening of the store as well: “the opening of my store—‘our store,’ as we referred to it that night—was supposed to signal a departure from frustrating, underpaying jobs and unrealized ambitions” (144). Sepha reflects on Kenneth’s dreams of being his own boss and Joseph’s dreams of getting a PhD.

Sepha wonders what has become of the store that he left open and unattended earlier in the day. Five hours have passed since he walked out. He decides to use his uncle’s phone and calls the store, only to listen to who picks up, and then he hangs up before speaking. He goes back to the closet and takes out the lockbox with his uncle’s cash savings inside.