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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The Many Faces of the Dreamers






Imbolo Mbue's debut novel Behold the Dreamers was first published over a year ago. It brings together the lives of two families living and working in New York - the Jonga's (a Cameroonian migrant family) and the Edwards (a wealthy American family) around the time of the 2008 financial crisis. Or as described in the blurb

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future. 
However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades. 
When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.


Since its publication, Behold the Dreamers has gone on to win the 2017 Pen/Faulkner award for Fiction and was selected for Oprah's very exclusive Book Club. The novel has also been translated into several languages including Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek and Portuguese. Being the ever curious person that I am, I wanted to know what the the different editions look like. Thankfully, Imbolo Mbue's Facebook page has the covers for 12 of the editions. And here they are. Any favourites? The are also be Italian, Spanish and Turkish editions (covers not pictured here, and not sure if those have been published yet).

US edition



UK edition

French edition

Polish edition

Dutch edition

Hebrew edition

Serbian edition

Danish edition

German edition

Portuguese (Brazilian) edition

Czech edition


Greek edition





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