: Mbue (I.)

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364pp., paperback, Edinburgh, 2021


First published in the USA in 2021.

A novel set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, where people decide to fight back against an American oil company.

“Sweeping and quietly devastating ... How Beautiful We Were charts the ways repression, be it at the hands of a government or a corporation or a society, can turn the most basic human needs into radical and radicalizing acts ... Profoundly affecting.” The New York Times Book Review

“A generation of narrative voices, many of them children, shape this sweeping, elegiac story of capitalism, colonialism, and boundless greed, reminding us of the myriad ways we fail to make a better world for our children.” Esquire

“Imbolo Mbue has given us a novel with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time.” Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend

Imbolo Mbue is the author of the novel Behold the Dreamers, which won the PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction. A native of Limbe, Cameroon, Mbue lives in New York.