After offering us a brand-new text for the festival on the theme of power, the Cameroonian-American author Imbolo Mbue will be presenting her new book. Her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers,
which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, is now followed by How Beautiful We Were,
a powerful and politically conscious lyrical novel that raises questions about colonialism, the links between Africa and the West, capitalist violence, feminism and the environment. An exclusive interview from New York.
An interview moderated by Florence Noiville (Le Monde), reading by Priscilla Adade.
Born in 1982, Imbolo Mbue left Limbe, Cameroon in 1998 to study in the United States. In the politically conscious How Beautiful We Were, the author, who now lives in Manhattan, transports us to Kosawa, an African village whose lands are being exploited by Pexton, an American oil company. The spoliation also triggers a health and ecological disaster that the village is determined to rise up against. Exceptionally, the English novel is being released almost at the same time as its French and Dutch translations.
Between two cultures
Inspired by the great African authors Chinua Achebe and Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Imbolo Mbue says that she also found a powerful echo to her feeling of being torn between two cultures in Toni Morrison and Gabriel García Márquez. So, besides the issue of power, there will be plenty of subjects to discuss with her…
Passa Porta, La Monnaie, Belfond