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Behold the Dreamers follows the path of a Cameroonian family whose members, like many newcomers to America, harbor dreams of success unavailable to them back home. Undocumented immigration, the widening gulf between rich and poor, and the thinly veiled racism of an avowedly “post-racial” culture converge as major themes in this new generation of immigrants’ painful encounter with the American Dream. Yet Mbue’s novel is also a distinctly New York story, capturing the particular experiences of the city.


This work was originally published in Contemporary Literature Criticism Yearbook 2016: A Retrospective Covering the Year’s New Authors Prizewinners, and Obituaries, edited by Laurence Trudeau.



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