Bestselling author to be featured in Visiting Author Series

Cambrea Schrank 

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     “But the Universe gives us different sources of Love to unite us all as One. Who are we to decide what the source of our Love should be at any given time? Love is Love, and at any given point we have everything we need,” wrote award winning author Imbolo Mbue in her bestseller novel “Behold the Dreamers.”  

     Mbue will be featured in the UCCS Visiting Author Series event on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The event is sponsored by the creative writing minor; an equity, diversity and inclusion grant; and the English department.  

     Mbue’s “Behold the Dreamers” is a New York Times bestseller, has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. According to her website, the novel has been translated into eleven languages, adapted into an opera and a stage play and optioned for a miniseries. 

     “Behold the Dreamers” is a fiction novel that critiques the American Dream, marriage, immigration, race and class. The story follows Cameroonian immigrant Jende Jonga, his wife Neni and their six-year-old son after the family uproots their lives and moves to the U.S.  

     Jende gets a job working for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. While Jende and his family initially reap the benefits of working for such a powerful company, the thin veil of the American Dream is torn when Lehman Brothers goes under, and the ugly truth of privilege shows its face.  

     Mbue’s newest novel “How Beautiful We Were” is the story of a small African village revolting against an American oil company that has destroyed their land and water with an infringing pipeline. 

     According to Leslie Rapparlie, senior instructor of rhetoric, writing and creative writing, the Visiting Author Series began in 2018 to connect the creative writing minor curriculum to the real-world.   

     “Bringing in a variety of authors allows students to ask questions of experienced, published authors in order to learn about the publishing and writing industry as well as gain valuable advice from authors in real-time,” Rapparlie wrote via email. “We make an effort to bring in diverse authors who can expose students to a variety of work in regard to genre or topic and more.”   

     On the purpose of the Visiting Author Series, Rapparlie wrote, “We hope that, in the four years students are likely here, there has been an author who they’ve heard from that they can identify with in a meaningful way.” 

     The Visitors Author Series event will involve an interview between Rapparlie and Mbue followed by a live Q&A session.  

The event will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to noon over Zoom.

     Imbolo Mbue, photo courtesy of CU Connections.