African writer's American Dream comes true
- Folly of the 1 percent -Despite the latitude that the subject matter gave her to skewer the people who drove the world into recession, Mbue's immigrant heroes take a surprisingly tender view of the follies of the privileged one percent of US society they serve. This gives the book what the Washington Post called "a kind of angelic annunciation of hope, which ultimately makes her story even more poignant." Like her characters Junde Jonga and his wife Neni, Mbue arrived in America at 17 with little more than her wide-eyed innocence and doggedness to declare. Still Mbue had reason to feel embittered by the crash. The crisis cost her the good job in market research she landed after working herself through a master's degree selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door.
- Age of Trump -"I spent three years pursuing her," she recalled. "I stalked her basically. She finally read it and I rewrote it and then she rejected me again, before finally saying OK. "I don't give up easily," she said. Despite her success, Mbue is under no illusion about the American Dream in the age of Donald Trump. "The odds are against you in America as an immigrant. I hope people realise this. Washing dishes or working in a cab, you get stuck and exhausted. "You don't come to America to fail, but you have to have a lot of weapons to succeed. "I've done some tough jobs," Mbue added, "but writing and raising children are the hardest things I've ever done." "I am not the sort of person who would chose this path (as a writer). I have that immigrant mentality of wanting stability. I cannot just think of myself." So despite her new-found fame, Mbue is not leaving her "very small" apartment. "I am superstitious. I had so many good things happen there I don't want to move. I am all cramped in there with screaming children, but I think if I move maybe my mojo will go away."
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