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Have and Have Nots

Author Imbolo Mbue Answers One Question about “Behold the Dreamers”

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The white picket fence with a rose garden out front; a four-bedroom home with 2.5 children and a quarter-acre backyard, including enough room for a swing and a grill; A stable job with a 20-minute commute into town and enough to pay off the mortgage. To many, this is the “American Dream.” To others, like myself, I think of the opening scene of David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. It might seem hunky-dory but there’s something festering and just not right underneath. I’m not knocking people if they have those aspirations — I’m simply saying they’re imperfect. Imbolo Mbue takes the nature of the American Dream to task in her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House, August 23 2016). Two families are…

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