Virtual Event: Imbolo Mbue

presenting

How Beautiful We Were:
A Novel

in conversation with YIYUN LI

Date

Mar
15
Monday
March 15, 2021
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

$33.25 (book included) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes IMBOLO MBUE—author of the bestselling, PEN/Faulkner Award–winning Behold the Dreamers—for a discussion of her latest, highly anticipated novel, How Beautiful We Were. She will be joined in conversation by writer and editor YIYUN LI, author of Must I Go, Where Reasons End, and Kinder Than Solitude.

Ticketing

There are two ticket options available for this event:

Admission Ticket - $33.25: Includes one admission link and one hardcover copy of How Beautiful We Were. US shipping also included. Books will be shipped to ticket-holders following the event. Please note: we are unable to ship internationally.

Pay-What-You-Can Ticket: Includes one admission link. We suggest a $5 donation to support Harvard Book Store's staff and our virtual event series during these difficult times. Thank you for your support!

About How Beautiful We Were

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.

Praise for How Beautiful We Were

“The unforgettable story of a community on the wrong end of Western greed, How Beautiful We Were will enthrall you, appall you, and show you what is possible when a few people stand up and say, ‘This is not right.’ It is a masterful novel by a spellbinding writer engaged with the most urgent questions of our day.” —David Ebershoff, bestselling author of The Danish Girl

How Beautiful We Were goes to the heart of one of the most urgent matters of the day. The highly suspenseful story of an African village’s struggle for survival and justice in the face of ruthless American corporate greed is written with remarkable acuity and compassion. Mbue has given us a book with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time.” —Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of the National Book Award

“Imbolo Mbue is a storyteller of astonishing gifts, which she uses in her second novel to lead us deep into the lives of a village decimated by environmental devastation and corporate greed. How Beautiful We Were reminds me of how interconnected we remain, no matter who or where we are.” —Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Imbolo Mbue
Imbolo Mbue

Imbolo Mbue

Imbolo Mbue is the author of the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Blue Metropolis Words to Change Prize and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Named a notable book of the year by the New York Times and the Washington Post and a best book of the year by close to a dozen publications, the novel has been translated into eleven languages, adapted into an opera and a stage play, and optioned for a movie. A native of Limbe, Cameroon, and a graduate of Rutgers and Columbia Universities, Mbue lives in New York City.

Photo Credit: Miriko Sano

Yiyun Li
Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li

Yiyun Li is the author of six works of fiction—Must I Go, Where Reasons End, Kinder Than Solitude, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, The Vagrants, and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl—and the memoir Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life. She is the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize, and was featured in The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 fiction issue. She teaches at Princeton University and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Opale




Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
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