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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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Otosirieze is Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an 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 the curator of 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 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 combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. 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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