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Global Africa and The Humanities Series

  • Imbolo Mbue
  • Keynote Speaker

A “bright and captivating storyteller” (The Washington Post), Imbolo Mbue is the author of two novels. Her stunning debut, the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers, was an Oprah Book Club selection and winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In this “quintessentially American” work (NPR), Mbue explores marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream through the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy. Praised by The New York Times as “savage and compassionate in all the right places,” Behold the Dreamers has been translated into eleven languages, adapted into an opera and a stage play, and optioned for a miniseries. It was named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and the Chicago Public Library among others. A New York Times Top 10 Book of 2021, How Beautiful We Were, is a sweeping story about the collision of a small African village and an American oil company, offering “a brilliant exploration of modern colonialism and capitalism—and the fight for justice” (People ).  The book was longlisted for the 2022 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and USA Today raved "This one's going to grab you." A native of Limbe, Cameroon, and a graduate of Rutgers and Columbia Universities, Mbue lives in New York City.

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