book cover of How Beautiful We Were
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How Beautiful We Were

(2020)
A novel by

 
 
A fearless young woman from a small African village starts a revolution against an American oil company in this sweeping, inspiring novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers.

“A novel with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time.”—Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend, winner of the National Book Award
 
We should have known the end was near. So begins Imbolo Mbue’s powerful second novel, How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells of a people living in fear amid environmental degradation wrought by an American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of cleanup and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country’s government, led by a brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interests. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back. Their struggle will last for decades and come at a steep price.
 
Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, 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 on to its ancestral land and a young woman’s willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"The unforgettable story of a community on the wrong end of Western greed, How Beautiful We Were will enthrall you, appall you, and show you what is possible when a few people stand up and say, ‘This is not right.’ It is a masterful novel by a spellbinding writer engaged with the most urgent questions of our day." - David Ebershoff

"How Beautiful We Were goes to the heart of one of the most urgent matters of the day. The highly suspenseful story of an African village’s struggle for survival and justice in the face of ruthless American corporate greed is written with remarkable acuity and compassion. Mbue has given us a book with the richness and power of a great contemporary fable, and a heroine for our time." - Sigrid Nunez


Used availability for Imbolo Mbue's How Beautiful We Were

Hardback Editions

March 2021 : UK Hardback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: Imbolo Mbue
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 1-83885-134-8 / 978-1-83885-134-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2021 : USA Hardback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-593-13242-4 / 978-0-593-13242-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

March 2022 : UK Paperback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 1-83885-137-2 / 978-1-83885-137-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


February 2022 : USA Paperback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-593-13244-0 / 978-0-593-13244-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


August 2020 : UK Paperback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: Imbolo Mbue
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 1-83885-135-6 / 978-1-83885-135-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2021 : USA Paperback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel (Random House Large Print)
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-593-21330-0 / 978-0-593-21330-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


January 1900 : USA Paperback
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-593-22916-9 / 978-0-593-22916-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House USA
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

January 1900 : USA Audio CD
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Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-593-20995-8 / 978-0-593-20995-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2021 : USA Audio edition
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Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon   


March 2021 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon AU   


March 2021 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   


March 2021 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


March 2021 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2021 : Audio CD
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Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-655-67502-7 / 978-0-655-67502-0
Publisher: Bolinda/Canongate audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


March 2021 : Audio CD
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Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
ISBN: 0-655-67503-5 / 978-0-655-67503-7
Publisher: Bolinda/Canongate audio
Availability: Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

March 2021 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: How Beautiful We Were
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Canongate Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2021 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: How Beautiful We Were: A Novel
Author(s): Imbolo Mbue
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA