Book Discussion on Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue
Facilitated by Diane Tunick Morello of Greenwich Pen Women
Monday, January 28th, 2019, at 7:00 PM in the Rand Room at Perrot
[Snow Date: Monday, February 4th, 2019]
Jende and Neni Jonga arrive in America from Cameroon to make a home with their son, Liomi. After a series of low-skilled jobs, Jende is hired in late 2007 as a chauffeur for a Lehman Brothers executive. Jende and Neni use their improved income to make a home in Harlem, enroll Neni in pharmacy school, and hire an immigration lawyer to help Jende qualify for political asylum and thus remain in the United States.
The American Dream is sweet for them– until a cascade of events weakens their foundation. Jende and Neni get pummeled by immigration bureaucracy, financial losses, unemployment, and growing resentment from the exectutive and his wealthy family. Jende, ever disillusioned and angry, views America as a land of no opportunity. Neni sees America as her future and fears what will become of her if she follows Jende’s path.
Behold the Dreamers is a masterful take on the American Dream, so alluring from afar and so mystifying up close. Fortunately, Imbolo Mbue never lets readers forget that human hearts beat at the center of the story, and we feel both joy and heartache as the Jongas navigate the highs and lows of America. Behold the Dreamers will remain with readers long after the last page, compelling them to ask whether the American Dream is possible for all or only for those born into it.
Borrow a copy of the book from the Adult Circulation Desk today! Please note that seating for the book discussion is limited.