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Author Spotlight: Imbolo Mbue

Oct 21, 2021 | Author Spotlight

If you’re as obsessed with your October ‘Earth is my Sister’ book box as we are, you’ll probably want to find out more about the author behind our featured book, How Beautiful We Were. As we do every month, here are some facts about the incredible Imbolo Mbue.

Imbolo is a Cameroonian-American novelist and short-story writer who lives in New York City.

Born in Limbe, Cameroon, Imbolo moved to America to study higher education, and she graduated first from Rutgers University having studied business management, before completing an M.A. from Columbia.

With her real-life experience of being an immigrant in America, her work draws on this, voicing the experiences of immigrants pursuing the American dream.

Imbolo’s debut novel Behold the Dreamers is a New York Times bestseller, has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was even an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

Not only that, but the novel has been translated into eleven languages, and been adapted into an opera and a stage play.

This month’s featured book, How Beautiful We Were, is set in an imaginary African village, Kosowa, and tells a heart-breaking story of the battle between a small African village living in fear of environmental degradation and an American oil company.

The story is voiced through the perspectives of a generation of children, and the family of a girl who grows up to become a revolutionary.

Imbolo has also written two incredible essays: “How to Vote as an Immigrant and a Citizen” for The New York Times and “’With every inch, the challenge multiplies’: me and my afro” for The Guardian.

Imbolo is also a contributor in the New Daughters of Africa anthology.

If you’re interested in more about this month’s featured author, to read some of the book reviews (and spoilers!) shared, be sure to follow their Facebook page!

Written by Meghna Amin

Books That Matter is the award-winning subscription box empowering women, powered by women. We platform marginalised voices by curating unique and inspiring reading experiences. We’re here to change the world, and introduce you to your favourite book, of course…

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