Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Behold the Dreamers

Imbolo Mbue

The American Dream turns nightmarishly precarious for the rich white class as well as for poor African immigrants, during the recession and financial collapse of 2008. We see the impact on two families at opposite ends of society, as the so-called ‘paradise for strivers’ becomes a bureaucratic purgatory. A big-hearted and balanced perspective on the cultural upheaval of migration in a global economy.

Extract

The terror that had gripped his chest when Clark Edwards mentioned the word 'papers' slowly loosened. He closed his eyes and offered thanks to a merciful Being, grateful half the truth had been sufficient. What would he have said if Mr. Edwards had asked more questions? How would he have explained that his work permit and driver's license were valid only for as long as his asylum application was pending or approved, and that if his application were to be denied, all his documents would become invalid and there would be no green card? How could he have possibly explained his asylum application? Would there have been a way to convince Mr. Edwards that he was an honest man, a very honest man, actually, but one who was now telling a thousand tales to Immigration just so he could one day become an American citizen and live in this great nation forever?

Parallels
  • Open City: a Novel by Teju Cole
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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