Earth Lounge Environmental Book Discussion Series: "How Beautiful We Were"
Explore the curiosities and complexities of nature, environmentalism, and sustainability through fiction and nonfiction literature in the new Earth Lounge Environmental Book Discussion Series, held the last Wednesday of the month from August through November. Register for any or all of the discussions in the series:
- August 30: We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer
- September 27: New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl
- October 25: The Darkness Manifesto: On Light Pollution, Night Ecology, and the Ancient Rhythms That Sustain Life by Johan Eklöf
- November 29: How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, How Beautiful We Were tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by a large and powerful American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean-up and financial reparations to the villagers are made—and ignored. The country's government, led by a corrupt, brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest.
Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight the American corporation. Doing so will come at a steep price. Told through multiple perspectives and centered around a fierce young girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were explores what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghosts of colonialism, comes up against one village's quest for justice—and a young woman's willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people's freedom.