The Waldorf School of Garden City was proud to have critically acclaimed novelist Imbolo Mbue visit and address our 7 – 12 graders in Bonner Hall on Friday, March 31st. Ms. Mbue told the students and faculty about her experiences as an immigrant and how they helped shape her into the person she is today. She talked about her difficulties in adjusting to life in America, especially since living here was not as easy as it was portrayed in popular culture. She recalled many observations she made about race and culture that made their way into her novel. Faculty member Deirdre Somers selected passages from the novel for Ms. Mbue to recite that demonstrated how much of the material came from Imbolo’s own experiences. The students, faculty and guests in attendance all left the talk with many interesting ideas for discussion.
Ms. Mbue is a native of the seaside city of Limbe, Cameroon who immigrated to the US when she was 17. She holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for more than a decade, she currently lives in New York City.
Behold the Dreamers, her critically acclaimed debut novel, was named by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of their Notable Books of 2016. The novel tells the story of an immigrant from Cameroon, who comes to the US to find that life was not necessarily as easy as he had always dreamed it would be. It was also named as a Best Book of 2016 by NPR, Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, The St. Louis Dispatch, and The Washington Post called it one of the Totally Hippest Novels of the Year. Ms. Mbue was also recently named the winner of the Pen-Faulkner Award for her novel.
We would like extend a warm thank thank you to Imbolo Mbue for taking the time to speak to our students!