African Book Club | How Beautiful We Were: A Novel by Imbolo Mbue
THE AFRICAN BOOK CLUB @ MOAD
An ongoing series in partnership with Faith Adiele. July’s book selection is How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue.
How to participate: Get a copy of the book, read it in advance of the meeting, and then discuss the book with a group of people interested in reading African literature online via zoom on July 25th at 5:00 PM (PST). After you register you will receive information to join via zoom. If you don’t see an email from MoAD, check your spam or junk mail box.
How Beautiful We Were is available for purchase online at the MoAD bookstore.
You can view a list of all the books previously read and discussed in African Book Club, and if you order through bookshop, MoAD will receive a percentage of the sale: https://bookshop.org/lists/african-book-club
Hosted by Faith Adiele, Author, Professor & Co-Founder of African Book Club
About the Book
A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.
We should have known the end was near. So begins Imbolo Mbue’s powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells of a people living in fear amid environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of cleanup and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interests. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle will last for decades and come at a steep price.
Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, 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 and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom.
About the Author
Imbolo Mbue is a native of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a B.S. from Rutgers University and an M.A. from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for over a decade, she lives in New York City.