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Imbolo Mbue. Photo credit: Jason Bell.

The North America rights to Imbolo Mbue’s second novel has been acquired by Penguin Random House. The manuscript, currently titled How Beautiful We Were, sold by Mbue’s agent Susan Golomb and acquired by the editor Andy Ward, is, according to the publishing house, “a story told through multiple perspectives about what happens when an African village decides to fight back against an American oil company that is destroying their land.” The sale was reported by Publishers Weekly.

The Cameroonian novelist broke out when her debut, then titled The Longings of Jende Jonga and eventually Behold the Dreamers, saw her receive a million-dollar advance in 2014, the first African writer to do so. Published in 2016, Behold the Dreamers went on to win the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and be chosen for Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club. In 2017, Mbue was interviewed on Brittle Paper‘s inaugural edition of The Ask Series.

Brittle Paper congratulates Imbolo Mbue.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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