Originally published on Brittle Paper
Imbolo Mbue burst into the limelight late last year after signing a million dollar deal with Random House for her debut manuscript. The novel titled Behold the Dreamers follows the travails of a Cameroonian immigrant and a Lehman Brothers executive during the 2008 financial crisis.
One million dollar advance? It’s a first for an African novelist. The African literary community lit up. We all lost our minds. This is huge, we crooned.
After the enormity of the news sank in, the nosy blogger in me went in search of a photograph. Who was this brand new voice taking the African literary community completely by surprise?
For each of the four posts I have since written about Mbue’s novel, I have had to search high and low, googled left and right for a photograph and found nothing. She has no profile in any of the social media platforms and stays pretty much under the radar.
But that’s all in the past because thanks to the Wall Street Journal, we can now put a face to Africa’s literary MVP. Mbue’s photograph was included in an article profiling debut novels with seven figure advances.
We fell in love with her writing when we read “Emke.” [click here if you missed it.] But the photographer Kiriko Sano has captured a radiant beauty that is making us fall in love all over again.
That shock of black natural hair is also giving us some serious #hairgoals.
A quick update for Mbue’s fans. The publication date of March 15 2016 announced earlier has been pushed to August 23 of the same year. No grumbling guys. It’s totally worth the wait.