In 2017 Oprah Winfrey choose Imbolo Mbue’s first novel, Behold the Dreamers, as an Oprah Book Club pick. The Cameroonian writer's follow-up, How Beautiful We Were, is set in the fictional African village of Kosawa and tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water.
Promises of clean-up and financial reparations are made – and ignored. The country’s government exists to serve its own interest only. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. But their fight will come at a steep price… one which generation after generation will have to pay.
Imbolo Mbue's Behold The Dreamers was a New York Times bestseller and won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The novel has been translated into eleven languages, adapted into an opera and a stage play, and has been optioned for a miniseries. Her new novel, How Beautiful We Were, has just been published. A native of Limbe, Cameroon, Mbue lives in New York City.
Imbolo Mbue is a storyteller of astonishing gifts. How Beautiful We Were reminds me of how interconnected we remain, no matter who or where we are.
- Tracey K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Life On Mars
A formidable storyteller.
- Jonathan Franzen