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Imbolo Mbue with Kawai Strong Washburn

April 7, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT

This event is online. Guests who pre-order a book at the time of registration will also receive temporary access to a post-event recording after the webinar concludes.

On April 7th, one of the most exciting literary writers of today presents her latest novel with Kepler’s! In conversation with Kawai Washburn Strong, bestselling novelist Imbolo Mbue shares How Beautiful We Were, a David and Goliath story in which a small African village stands in defiance of an American oil company. Don’t miss this webinar conversation between two phenomenal authors.

Mbue’s new book has been 17 years in the writing—and though the author says that though she didn’t write through that whole time, she felt persistently haunted by the story. You will be, too. How Beautiful We Were offers an unforgettable narrative drawn from revolutionary movements, the global politics of oil, Mbue’s own life, and so much more. This is a stunning sophomore novel by the extraordinary literary voice who brought us Behold the Dreamers.

How Beautiful We Were has earned the singing praise of readers ranging from reviewers at Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly to titanic figures like Oprah, Tracy K. Smith and Sigrid Nunez. If you’re already a Mbue reader, you will love How Beautiful We Were, and for new fans this writer offers inspiring themes that are prefect for our times. Mbue has said of her books,

“[T]he two novels don’t bear too many obvious similarities but they’re in fact quite similar—they both have a lot to do with dreams, and how hopes are dashed, how relationships are tested by the worlds in which characters live, how love is sustained, how passion is renewed, how people are able to dig in and find the will to keep going on, believing that someday their lives will get better.”

Dig in with Kepler’s, Imbolo Mbue and Kawai Strong Washburn on Wednesday, April 7th. This author just keeps getting better.

IMBOLO MBUE is the author of the New York Times bestseller Behold the Dreamers, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. The novel has been translated into eleven languages, adapted into an opera and a stage play, and optioned for a miniseries. A native of Limbe, Cameroon, and a graduate of Rutgers and Columbia Universities, Imbolo Mbue lives in New York City.

KAWAI STRONG WASHBURN is the author behind the critically acclaimed debut Sharks in the Time of Saviors. Washburn was born and raised on the Hamakua coast of the Big Island of Hawai‘I. His work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney’s, and Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, among other outlets. He was a 2015 Tin House Summer Scholar and 2015 Bread Loaf work-study scholar. Formerly a Bay Area writer and frequent visitor to Kepler’s, he now lives with his wife and daughters in Minneapolis.

** Please consider joining with a book purchase or donation to support Kepler’s Literary Foundation programs. **

Photo of Imbolo Mbue by Kiriko Sano. Photo of Kawai Strong Washburn by Crystal Lieppa.


April 7, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
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Kepler’s Literary Foundation
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