Let’s Read: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue and Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

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Hey y’all! I’ve got 2 books for you today! I just finished reading Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue AND Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. Both fantastic and must be added to your list of literature to enjoy.

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

What’s the book about?

A couple from Cameroon who tip-toed around the immigration process with a shady lawyer and ultra-moneyed family with serious problems in NYC.

Description from…Uncle Bobbie’s Books

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty–and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job–even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Books

Imbolo Mbue is a native of the seaside town of Limbe, Cameroon. She holds a BS from Rutgers University and an MA from Columbia University. A resident of the United States for more than a decade, she lives in New York City.

Behold the Dreamers, her critically acclaimed debut novel, won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was named by The New York Times and The Washington Post as one of the notable books of 2016. It was also named as a best book of 2016 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The novel also won the 2017 Blue Metropolis Words to Change Prize.

3 Favorite Parts

—Both socio-economic levels had issues that money nor immigration status could solve.

—Author chose to not solve the couple’s issues by throwing money and charity to the couple

—Reads like butter. Word pictures were genius and effortless throughout.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Read This Book

—Story of immigration

—Pain behind closed doors is normalized

—No solutions are presented, no happy ending

Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

What’s the book about?

Alice Walker takes us to the streets and in the homes of where female genital mutilation is commonplace and expected of all women. We meet women of all stages, perspectives, and convictions regarding this old tradition and Walker encourages us to think deeply about the purpose of pleasure for and agency within the woman’s body.

Book Description from Uncle Bobbie’s Books…

From the author the New York Times Book Review calls “a lavishly gifted writer,” this is the searing story of Tashi, a tribal African woman first glimpsed in The Color Purple whose fateful decision to submit to the tsunga’s knife and be genitally mutilated leads to a trauma that informs her life and fatefully alters her existence. Possessing the Secret of Joy, out of print for a number of years, was the first novel to deal with this controversial topic and managed to do so in a manner that Cosmopolitan called “masterful, honorable, and unforgettable storytelling.” The New Press is proud to bring the book back into print with a new preface by the author addressing the book’s initial reception and the changed attitudes toward female genital mutilation that have come about in part because of this book.

Author Bio from Uncle Bobbie’s Books…

Alice Walker is one of the most prolific and important writers of our time, known for her literary fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple (which was also a major Broadway play), her many volumes of poetry, and her powerful nonfiction collections. She is the author of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, Possessing the Secret of Joy, The World Has Changed (edited by Rudolph P. Byrd), The Chicken Chronicles, The World Will Follow Joy, and The Cushion in the Road, all published by The New Press. Some of her other bestselling books include In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, The Temple of My Familiar, By the Light of My Father’s Smile, and The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart. Her advocacy on behalf of the dispossessed has spanned the globe. She lives in Northern California.

3 Favorite Parts

—How much care without condemnation of the practice leaving reader to decide what to think/do

—Seeing how woman’s rights and body agency is taken from us always and forever

—Watching change happen in cultures based on new research and how it’s introduced

3 Reasons Why You Need to Read This Book

—Challenge thinking of women’s rights and body agency

—Prioritize and value women’s sexual pleasure

—Get angry and teach about the woman’s body differently

How to contact me:

Instagram: @MelanatedStamps

Website: www.melanatedstamps.com

Facebook: Melanated Stamps

Youtube: Melanated Stamps

Podcast: Melanated Stamps

Email: melanatedstamps@gmail.com

NEXT BOOK: Becoming by Dr. Michelle Obama

What’s your favorite book?

Tell me about it in my DMs.

Reminder: Beloved, drink your water and dismantle white supremacy by reading Black authors.

Dr. J

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