Imbolo Mbue

Cameroonian writer

Imbolo Mbue (born 1981) is a Cameroonian-American novelist and short-story writer based in New York City.


  • …One of my favorite things was that television was all in English. Growing up an English speaker in a predominantly French-speaking country, I couldn’t understand most TV shows since they were in French, so coming to America allowed me to enjoy such a simple pleasure…
  • I did not do it because I wanted to one day have a book deal…I did it because I loved it, and I enjoyed it, and I did not know where it was going to take me. I did it out of love of the art.
  • …The reason why people connected with the characters is because they are real, and to write real characters you have to go deep into them. As a human you look at another human and you come with your own judgements, but as a writer you have to put that aside and just look at people for who they are. It is a process, and much of it is subconscious…
  • It's so hard to be a stranger in a strange land. I don't think most people understand how difficult it is to leave behind what you know and come to a country where everything about you is considered "different."
  • People in this country, always worrying about how to eat, they pay someone good money to tell them: Eat this, don’t eat that. If you don’t know how to eat, what else can you know how to do in this world?
  • But the Universe gives us different sources of Love to unite us all as One. Who are we to decide what the source of our Love should be at any given time? Love is Love, and at any given point we have everything we need.
  • Home will never go away Home will be here when you come back You may go to bring back fortune You may go to escape misfortune You may even go, just because you want to go But when you come back We hope you’ll come back Home will still be here.
  • Anyone can go to the shop and buy anything and give to anyone, he told Liomi when the boy asked him for the umpteenth time why he couldn’t get even a little toy truck. The true measure of whether somebody really loves you, he lectured, is what they do for you with their hands and say to you with their mouth and think of you in their heart.

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