Perrot Memorial Library & The Greenwich Pen Women will present a book discussion: Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue, facilitated by Diane Tunick Morello of Greenwich Pen Women.
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 gets a job in late 2007 as a chauffeur for a
Lehman Brothers executive. Jende and Neni use the 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 executive and his wealthy family.
Jende, ever more 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.
Monday, January 28, 20219 at 7:00pm in the Perrot Library Rand Room (Snow date is Monday, Feb 4, 2019.)
Open to all patrons of Perrot. Copies of the book are available for checkout from the Circulation Desk beginning on December 28, 2018.
Seating is limited.