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How Beautiful We Were
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Publication date: March 09, 2021

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How Beautiful We Were

A Novel

By Imbolo Mbue
Narrated by Prentice Onayemi, Janina Edwards, Dion Graham, JD Jackson, Allyson Johnson & Lisa Pitts /

From the celebrated author of the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers comes a sweeping, wrenching story about the collision of a small African village and an American oil company.
 
“A novel 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
 
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.

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Author
Narrator Prentice Onayemi, Janina Edwards, Dion Graham, JD Jackson, Allyson Johnson & Lisa Pitts
ISBN 9780593209943
Length
Language English
Publisher Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date
Edition Unabridged
Libro.fm rank #82,989 Overall
Genre rank #6,968 in Literary Fiction

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