47 pages 1 hour read

Dinaw Mengestu

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2007

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Chapters 7-10Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary

Sepha decides to make some phone calls before he leaves DuPont Circle and takes a train to visit his uncle, Berhane Salassie. He calls Berhane and gets his answering machine, but he does not leave a message. Then he calls Kenneth to tell him not to worry, but he hangs up after one ring. He calls the restaurant to ask if Joseph is working today, but he does not leave his name. He also calls his store and hears his neighbor Mrs. Davis answer. He does not say anything and hangs up the phone.

Sepha gets on the subway and heads to the restaurant where Joseph works. He recalls the days when he was briefly a student at a local community college and how Joseph also took some non-credit extension classes. One of the classes introduced Joseph to Dante and his poetry. Joseph felt that Dante’s work was a metaphor for Africa, and many things in his American environment became metaphors for Africa. On the subway ride, Sepha recognizes the signature of “Disco Dan,” a graffiti artist, and it recalls an aphorism of his father’s to add color to your life when you can.