Levez-vous enfants, mettez-vous en formation, la folie a pris feu, poings levés brûle, brûle, brûle ; que toutes les voix s'élèvent, vivantes et fières - ou donnez-nous la mort dix mille régimes, se repaissant de nos âmes, et pourtant nous continuons de nous battre, jusqu'à quand ? puissions-nous vivre longtemps pour voir ce matin resplendissant.
C'est l'histoire d'un petit village d'Afrique de l'Ouest en lutte contre la multinationale américaine qui pollue ses terres et tue ses enfants.
C'est l'histoire d'une génération d'anciens qui a cru en la promesse d'une prospérité venue d'Occident.
C'est l'histoire d'une jeunesse qui décide de se révolter, quitte à user de la violence et à prendre les armes.
C'est l'histoire de Thula, la belle et courageuse Thula, prête à tout pour sauver les siens au risque de tout sacrifier.
Ils ont traversé l'Atlantique pour vivre leur rêve, le vrai, l'américain.
Originaire du Cameroun, Jende Jonga sait que le sort de sa famille repose sur l'obtention d'un visa de travail. Des études pour sa femme, Neni, un avenir pour son fils, Liomi... Après plusieurs petits boulots clandestins, Jende croit enfin tenir sa chance : un job de chauffeur pour Clark Edwards, riche banquier de Manhattan. Mais nous sommes en 2007, et la crise des subprimes réserve, à tous, un réveil brutal...
Choc des cultures et quête du bonheur : le rêve que l'on poursuit n'est pas toujours celui qu'on croit...
WINNER OF THE 2017 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR AN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR ''A formidable storyteller'' Jonathan Franzen ''Savage and compassionate in all the right places'' New York Times Book Review New York, 2007: a city of dreamers, all jostling for a place on the ladder of success. Jende Jonga, newly arrived from Cameroon, has just set his foot on the first rung. He is chauffeur to Clark Edwards, a senior partner at Lehman Brothers - a man too preoccupied to check the paperwork of his latest employee. Jende''s job draws him, his wife Neni and their young son into the privileged orbit of the city''s financial elite. And when Clark''s wife Cindy offers Neni work and takes her into her confidence, the couple begin to believe that the land of opportunity might finally be opening up for them. But there are troubling cracks in their employers'' facades, and when the deep fault lines running beneath the financial world are exposed, the Edwards'' secrets threaten to spill out into the Jonga''s lives. Faced with the loss of all they have worked for, each couple must decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams - and what they are prepared to sacrifice along the way.
'A formidable storyteller' JONATHAN FRANZEN Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, HOW BEAUTIFUL WE WERE tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations to the villagers are made-and ignored. The country's government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest only. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. But their fight will come at a steep price, one which generation after generation will have to pay. Told through the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula, HOW BEAUTIFUL WE WERE is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community's determination to hold onto its ancestral land and a young woman's willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people's freedom.
A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream--the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy Named one of BuzzFeed’s “Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Summer” 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. Praise for Behold the Dreamers “Imbolo Mbue’s masterful debut about an immigrant family struggling to obtain the elusive American Dream in Harlem will have you feeling for each character from the moment you crack it open.”--In Style “This story is one that needs to be told.”--Bust “In the near decade since the onset of the Great Recession, few works of fiction have examined what those years felt like for everyday people, how so many continued to hope and plan and love amid pervasive uncertainty. Enter Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, a Cameroonian American who situates her characters of US shores just as prosperity is beginning to seem like a thing of the past. . . . Behold the Dreamers challenges us all to consider what it takes to make us genuinely content, and how long is too long to live with our dreams deferred.”--O Magazine “A revelation . . . Mbue has written a clever morality tale that never preaches but instead teaches us the power of integrity.”--Essence “At once a sad indictment of the American dream and a gorgeous testament to the enduring bonds of family, Mbue’s powerful first novel will grip and move you right up to its heartfelt ending.”--Shelf Awareness “Mbue proves herself a clear-eyed, unflinching storyteller, and Behold the Dreamers is a fearless, head-on journey into the thorny contemporary issues of American exceptionalism.”--Interview “Gripping and beautifully told.”--Good Housekeeping “Among the spate of novels forged in the crucible of the previous decade, Mbue’s impressive debut deserves a singular place. . . . Realistic, tragic, and still remarkably kind to all its characters, this is a special book.”--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “The Jongas are . . . vivid, and the book’s unexpected ending--and its sharp-eyed focus on issues of immigration, race, and class--speak to a sad truth in today’s cutthroat world: the American dream isn’t what it seems.”--Publishers Weekly From the Hardcover edition.