Behold the Dreamers: An Oprah's Book Club Pick

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9780008158118: Behold the Dreamers: An Oprah's Book Club Pick

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

New York Times Bestseller · Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award · Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award · An ALA Notable Book

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 
NPR · The New York Times Book Review · San Francisco Chronicle · The Guardian · St. Louis Post-Dispatch · Chicago Public Library · BookPage · Refinery29 · Kirkus Reviews 

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Praise for Behold the Dreamers

“A debut novel by a young woman from Cameroon that illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse . . . Mbue is a bright and captivating storyteller.”The Washington Post

“A capacious, big-hearted novel.”The New York Times Book Review

“Behold the Dreamers’ heart . . . belongs to the struggles and small triumphs of the Jongas, which Mbue traces in clean, quick-moving paragraphs.”Entertainment Weekly

“Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating.”People (book of the week)

“[Mbue’s] book isn’t the first work of fiction to grapple with the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, but it’s surely one of the best. . . . It’s a novel that depicts a country both blessed and doomed, on top of the world, but always at risk of losing its balance. It is, in other words, quintessentially American.”—NPR

“This story is one that needs to be told.”Bust 

Behold the Dreamers challenges us all to consider what it takes to make us genuinely content, and how long is too long to live with our dreams deferred.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“[A] beautiful, empathetic novel.”The Boston Globe

“A witty, compassionate, swiftly paced novel that takes on race, immigration, family and the dangers of capitalist excess.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Mbue [is] a deft, often lyrical observer. . . . [Her] meticulous storytelling announces a writer in command of her gifts.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Review:

An Amazon Best Book of August 2016: One of the greatest things a novel can do is to raise empathy in a reader. Behold the Dreamers does that slowly and surely, as Mbue tells the story of Jende Jonga, his wife Neni, and their six-year-old son. Jende has arrived from Cameroon, and after a stint working as a dishwasher he lands a job as the driver for Clark Edwards, an executive who is reaping a fortune at the soon-to-be doomed Lehman Brothers. Jende is poor, living in Harlem, but with his new job he is able to move his wife and son to New York—he feels he is on the fast track to his American dream. Clark is rich, but has troubles of his own, and conversations in the car—private ones between Jende and members of the Edwards family, talks overheard on cell phones—begin to reveal these fissures. In this wonderful debut novel, we watch events unfold for both families in ways that suggest the American dream might be more fragile than advertised. Mbue is a master of presenting a scene and allowing the reader to see between the lines; the result is the thrill of feeling that, for one of those rare times, we might be able to accurately imagine what it’s like to be someone different from ourselves. --Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review

About the Author:

Imbolo Mbue is a native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for more than a decade, she lives in New York City.

Behold the Dreamers, her critically acclaimed debut novel, won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was named by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of the notable books of 2016. It was also named as a best book of 2016 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The novel also won the 2017 Blue Metropolis Words to Change Prize.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2017. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEARAN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAROPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK A powerful and timely story of marriage, class, race and the pursuit of the American Dream. Behold the Dreamers is a dazzling debut novel about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and of what we re prepared to sacrifice to hold on to each of them. `We all do what we gotta do to become American, abi? New York, 2007: a city of dreamers and strivers, where the newly-arrived and the long-established jostle alike for a place on the ladder of success. And Jende Jonga, who has come from Cameroon, has just set his foot on the first rung. Clark Edwards is a senior partner at Lehman Brothers bank. In need of a discrete and reliable chauffeur, he is too preoccupied to closely check the paperwork of his latest employee. Jende s new job draws him, his wife Neni and their young son into the privileged orbit of the city s financial elite. And when Clark s wife Cindy offers Neni work and takes her into her confidence, the couple begin to believe that the land of opportunity might finally be opening up for them. But there are troubling cracks in their employers facades, and when the deep fault lines running beneath the financial world are exposed, the Edwards secrets threaten to spill out into the Jonga s lives. Faced with the loss of all they have worked for, each couple must decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams - and what they are prepared to sacrifice along the way. `There are no heroes in this marvellous debut, only nuanced human beings. A classic tale with a surprise ending, as deeply insightful as it is delightfully entertaining Taiye Selasi `Imbolo Mbue would be a formidable storyteller anywhere, in any language. It s our good luck that she and her stories are American Jonathan Franzen `Eerily timely . bittersweet and buoyant Jessie Burton, Observer Books of the Year. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780008158118

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2017. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEARAN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAROPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK A powerful and timely story of marriage, class, race and the pursuit of the American Dream. Behold the Dreamers is a dazzling debut novel about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and of what we re prepared to sacrifice to hold on to each of them. `We all do what we gotta do to become American, abi? New York, 2007: a city of dreamers and strivers, where the newly-arrived and the long-established jostle alike for a place on the ladder of success. And Jende Jonga, who has come from Cameroon, has just set his foot on the first rung. Clark Edwards is a senior partner at Lehman Brothers bank. In need of a discrete and reliable chauffeur, he is too preoccupied to closely check the paperwork of his latest employee. Jende s new job draws him, his wife Neni and their young son into the privileged orbit of the city s financial elite. And when Clark s wife Cindy offers Neni work and takes her into her confidence, the couple begin to believe that the land of opportunity might finally be opening up for them. But there are troubling cracks in their employers facades, and when the deep fault lines running beneath the financial world are exposed, the Edwards secrets threaten to spill out into the Jonga s lives. Faced with the loss of all they have worked for, each couple must decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams - and what they are prepared to sacrifice along the way. `There are no heroes in this marvellous debut, only nuanced human beings. A classic tale with a surprise ending, as deeply insightful as it is delightfully entertaining Taiye Selasi `Imbolo Mbue would be a formidable storyteller anywhere, in any language. It s our good luck that she and her stories are American Jonathan Franzen `Eerily timely . bittersweet and buoyant Jessie Burton, Observer Books of the Year. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780008158118

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Book Description Fourth Estate Ltd. Book Condition: New. For fans of Americanah and The Lowland comes a debut novel about an immigrant couple striving to get ahead as the Great Recession hits home. With profound empathy, keen insight, and sly wit, Imbolo Mbue has written a compulsively readable story about marriage, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream. Num Pages: 320 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 222 x 141. Weight in Grams: 270. . 2017. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780008158118

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