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How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

Live Reading & Conversation

Wednesday, March 24
7:00 pm

Imbolo Mbue will discuss her creative process in a live conversation and audience Q&A, moderated by Dr. Edda Fields-Black, Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University specializing in trans-national West African farmers.

Growing up in Limbe, Cameroon, a seaside town with an oil refinery, Imbolo Mbue witnessed firsthand life under a dictatorship and was fascinated by the people who rose up against corporate greed and systems of injustice. Profoundly moving, How Beautiful We Were delivers the same storytelling mastery that brought her so many fans and such critical acclaim. 

How Beautiful We Were

In October 2017, Imbolo visited City of Asylum to read from her debut novel Behold the Dreamers. Her powerful reading stuck with our staff these past few years—Imbolo was warm and engaging yet frank and challenging in her descriptions of the difficulties facing immigrants in this country. We knew we wanted to revisit that program in May of last year with a broadcast as a Staff Favorites selection. We are just as excited to welcome her back now in a live conversation about her new book. 

How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold on to its ancestral land. Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom, this gorgeous novel is destined to become a classic.